Canada Economic Development

Canada Economic Development

March 14, 2005 12:20 ET

Government of Canada Grants $1,748,923 to 12 SMEs Wishing to Improve Their Productivity



MARCH 14, 2005 - 12:20 ET

Government of Canada Grants $1,748,923 to 12 SMEs
Wishing to Improve Their Productivity

SHERBROOKE, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - March 14, 2005) -

Canada Economic Development profiles its intervention to enhance
enterprises' competitiveness

Speaking on behalf of the Honourable Jacques Saada, Minister of Canada
Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Francophonie, the
Honourable James Scott Peterson, Minister of International Trade, today
announced a contribution from Canada Economic Development totalling
$1,748,923 to 12 Estrie SMEs. This announcement constitutes a profile of
the Agency's intervention to enhance the competitiveness of Estrie
region enterprises, for the period from May 2004 to date.

The 12 projects supported by Canada Economic Development will generate
substantial spinoffs in the Estrie region, and they will translate into
total investment of $4,998,751, the creation of 45 jobs and the
consolidation of 243 others.

"These contributions," stated Mr. Peterson, "demonstrate the Government
of Canada's intention to make adequate funds available to our innovative
small firms, here in Estrie and elsewhere, in order to ensure their
development and sustain them in their approach to improving their

Among the enterprises benefiting from the IDEA-SME program are Davibois
Inc., which received a $100,000 repayable contribution. Through this
financial support, this SME will implement an action plan stemming from
the completion of an operational diagnosis last year. The different
stages include relocation of the facility, acquisition of strategic
equipment and optimization of production management methods. Six jobs
will be created, and a further 12 consolidated.

In order to enhance its competitiveness, Les Billots Select Megantic
Inc. has chosen to take the following steps, among others: refitting of
the production line and implementation of a new computerized inventory
management system. Putting new equipment in place will eliminate
production bottlenecks, and this, according to management, will lead to
a productivity increase of some 15%. This firm has received a $200,000
repayable contribution from Canada Economic Development.

Technological innovation and its integration in enterprises such as
those that are the subject of today's announcement are core Government
of Canada priorities. "By improving productivity and supporting Estrie
enterprises' innovative practices, we are also contributing to enriching
the region's economy," stated Mr. Saada. "In Estrie, as elsewhere in
Canada, enterprises which increase their productivity can enjoy a head
start in developing their markets and broadening their areas of
activity, in short, in generating wealth."

Canada Economic Development's mandate is to promote the economic
development of the regions of Quebec. Primarily through financial
assistance programs, the Agency elicits and supports the implementation
of economic development projects. The two priorities the Agency has set
itself are to foster innovation and the knowledge economy in each region
of Quebec, and to help communities that are having difficulty adjusting
to the new economy. In this way, the Agency contributes to the
attainment of the Government of Canada's objective of building the 21st
Century economy.

Funding for this initiative was provided for in the February 2005
federal budget.

A "Summary of Canada Economic Development's Intervention for Enhancement
of Enterprises' Competitiveness" is available on CCNMatthews' website at
the following address:

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Contact Information

    Canada Economic Development
    Lyne Montpellier
    (800) 567-8637
    Canada Economic Development
    Office of the Honourable Jacques Saada
    Daniel Dezainde, Press Secretary
    (514) 496-1282