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Federal investment benefits EDC, Invasive Species Centre and more

NEWS RELEASE FEDNOR ************************** Federal government invests to create jobs and spur growth in the Sault Ste.



Federal government invests to create jobs and spur growth in the Sault Ste. Marie region

Funding to attract private sector investment, support innovation, and promote business and youth initiatives

SAULT STE. MARIE - Bryan Hayes, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, on behalf of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State for Science and Technology, and FedNor, and Minister responsible for the Ring of Fire, today announced a Government of Canada investment that will foster community economic development, small business growth and innovation, while providing opportunities for area youth to contribute to the regional economy.

“Our Government is investing in initiatives that will give our communities and businesses in Northern Ontario the tools to grow and diversify the economy,” said MP Hayes. “Today’s announcement will attract new businesses – particularly those in the IT sector – to the North and help them to take advantage of targeted opportunities and create jobs that will sustain regional growth and prosperity.”

FedNor funding of $466,492 will support a variety of initiatives in Sault Ste. Marie.

For example, the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation will benefit from an investment of $185,000 to complete an investment attraction strategy targeting businesses in the information and communication technology (ICT) and digital gaming sectors, as well as assess the feasibility of establishing an ICT hub and shared data services facility in the community.

These projects, and others being announced today, will benefit the region by attracting private sector investment and helping small and medium-sized enterprises to grow.

“With FedNor’s support, Sault Ste. Marie will be able to leverage local expertise, attract new business opportunities and expand its ICT and digital sector, positioning the community as a globally-competitive, world-class leader in gaming technologies and knowledge,” said Tom Dodds, chief executive director of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation.

The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, which support projects that strengthen community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation throughout the region.

"Our Government remains focused on providing the right environment for economic growth, through effective cooperation across all sectors, to keep Canadians working and to ensure the long-term prosperity of all our communities," concluded Minister Rickford.

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Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation $185,000

A FedNor investment of $185,000 will enable the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) to undertake two initiatives.

With $150,000 in funding, the SSMEDC will develop an investment attraction strategy, targeting small and medium-sized businesses within the information and communication technology (ICT) and digital gaming sectors to expand business and employment opportunities.

In the second project, the SSMEDC will use $35,000 to assess the feasibility of establishing an ICT hub and shared data services facility in the city.

Sharing infrastructure and services will provide a variety of clients and users with access to state-of-the-art technology and expertise, including data storage, cloud computing and software applications that would otherwise not be feasible on their own.

Insightworks Learning and Development $154,992

With a FedNor repayable contribution of $154,992, this private sector company will upgrade its software program, known as Viewpoint.

The software is designed to provide organizations and individuals with customized learning and development solutions to meet their specific organizational needs.

The programming and design work will enable the company to expand its market reach beyond healthcare providers to tap into the mining and manufacturing sectors.

Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation $75,000

Thanks to a FedNor investment of $75,000, the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation will hire a consultant to draft a business and land use plan to identify economic development opportunities that will drive the corporation’s strategic direction for the next five to 10 years.

Development of the plan will include consultation with various airport users, analysis of air service traffic growth, identification of infrastructure requirements, and the development of a detailed financial management plan for future capital improvements.

Invasive Species Centre $31,500

With $31,500 in FedNor funding, the Invasive Species Centre has hired a youth intern for a one- year period as a program coordinator.

The intern’s responsibilities include a variety of activities such as creating a communications strategy, developing a database of invasive species information, and assisting with making the information accessible through social media and web-based tools.

Veracity Asset Management Group $20,000

This asset management corporation, which specializes in surplus materials, helps companies and organizations turn their idle assets into cash.

A FedNor contribution of $20,000 will help Veracity Asset Management Group hire a youth intern for a one-year period to assist with marketing and business development by researching new opportunities to grow its operations.

The intern will focus on conducting market research and identifying client groups; creating sales presentations, marketing brochures and newsletters; developing web content; and helping with the implementation of the marketing plan.