News Release Article from  Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

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Communities to Benefit from Top-Ups to Two Southern Ontario Innovation Funds

March 18, 2014Cambridge, OntarioFederal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

FedDev Ontario Minister of State Gary Goodyear announced today non-repayable top-up contributions to the Western Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Association and the Eastern Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Network Inc. The top-ups will allow the two organizations to continue to deliver the Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII) in southwestern and southeastern Ontario, ensuring a strong focus on job creation and support in southern Ontario.

The top-ups to each of the two funds will help to address new demand for loans, in both regions, with a focus on the information and communications technology and food processing sectors.

Today's announcement regarding the funds followed a series of stakeholder roundtables Minister Goodyear held in the past few months regarding challenges and opportunities for southern Ontario's economy.

These contributions are made possible through FedDev Ontario's Prosperity Initiative.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada will provide $8 million and $12 million in non-repayable top-up contributions to the Western Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Association and the Eastern Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Network Inc., respectively.
  • In July 2012, FedDev Ontario announced that the Eastern Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Network Inc. and Western Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Association would receive non-repayable contributions of up to $8 million and $12 million, under the Prosperity Initiative to capitalize and manage the two separate, self-sustaining, revolving loan funds, delivered in the respective territories of the two Community Futures Development Corporation networks.
  • Projects supported through both SOFII West and SOFII East qualify for interest-bearing loans valued from $150,000 to $500,000.
  • The loans aim to address the growth challenges faced by innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises, including: late-stage commercialization; development of a new product or service; finding new applications or markets; and the development or implementation of new processes or technologies.

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to making strategic investments with a return on taxpayers' dollars. SOFII West and SOFII East have both proven to contribute significantly to the southern Ontario economy by fostering innovation and the creation of high-quality, highly skilled jobs across the region. I look forward to seeing the innovative new projects with a focus on our information and communications technologies and food and beverage processing sectors that the Eastern and Western Community Futures Development Corporation Networks will support with these additional funds."

Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

"We are pleased to be able to continue delivering SOFII West to the innovative businesses that need them. We understand that small businesses need assistance from time to time in order to compete and commercialize their ideas in a timely way. We are also excited to extend our focus to supporting some of Ontario's most important sectors; food and beverage processing and the information and comtech industries."

Frank Rupcic, Chairperson, Western Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Association

"We know the challenges small businesses can face in bringing new developments to market, and making timely, critical investments to stay competitive. SOFII East provides opportunities for small companies to secure the capital they need to overcome these challenges, and we are thrilled to be able to continue offering these loans."

Christine Dukelow, Chair, Eastern Ontario Community Futures Development Corporations Network Inc. Board of Directors

"In two short years, 20 full-time jobs have been created in sales, marketing, finance and product development roles. With the support we've received from FedDev Ontario through the Western Network and SOFII West, we've accelerated our growth plans by several years – and successfully executed on our go-to-market strategy."

David Ciccarelli, Chief Executive Officer, Voices.com

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Contacts

Stephanie Thomas
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-943-7599

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
416-954-6652
FedDevMedia@FedDevOntario.gc.ca

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