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THUNDER BAY, Ontario, December 17 2011 —  Greg Rickford, Member of Parliament for Kenora, on behalf of the Greg RickfordHonourable Tony Clement, Minister for FedNor, today announced a Government of Canada investment of more than $772,000 in two projects to support small business development across Northern Ontario.

“Friday’s announcement demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to help qualified entrepreneurs take the next step in growing their businesses,” explained Minister Clement. “These concrete measures will better equip small businesses to expand their product lines and markets, strengthening the economy in Northern Ontario.”

“By investing in these initiatives in partnership with community organizations, the Government of Canada is enhancing the success and growth of small businesses across the North, enabling them to compete in today’s ever-changing global marketplace,” added MP Rickford.

Funding of $452,183 will enable Northern Ontario Enterprise Gateway (NOEG) to increase access to capital for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Northern Ontario. To achieve this, NOEG will expand its investor readiness training for entrepreneurs and intensify its efforts to develop additional angel investors. NOEG will focus on emerging high-tech businesses and those entrepreneurs who are growing, innovative and need equity financing.

”In addition to facilitating investment in Northern Ontario SMEs, this initiative links entrepreneurs with experienced business owners, who can provide them with the support and expertise they require,” said Mary Long Irwin, Executive Director, NOEG.

The remaining $320,000 will assist the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NOIC), under its Next Level Program, to provide eligible SMEs with up to $5,000 toward specific project costs needed to grow their innovative businesses, develop new products and seize market opportunities. This support will be based on the small businesses’ specific needs, ranging anywhere from test-marketing and sales activities to management training and intellectual property protection.

“This Program is tailor made to meet the individual requirements of growing businesses in the region,” said Mr. Don Wing, President, Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre. “Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of help for entrepreneurs to move up to the next level.” 

The funding announced today was provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP). The NODP supports projects that strengthen community economic development, enhance business growth, and facilitate innovation throughout the region.

To find out more about FedNor, visit:


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