The Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli was in Woodstock last night to announce $100 million over the next four years to the Southwestern and Eastern Ontario business development.
WOODSTOCK - The Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade made a major funding announcement in Woodstock last night.
Vic Fedeli was at the Finkle Street Tap and Grill to announce $100 million over the next four years to the Southwestern and Eastern Ontario business development. Development Commissioner for the City of Woodstock and the President of the Southwestern Ontario Marketing Alliance or SOMA Len Magyar says the funding is great news for the local regional businesses.
"The program is available to most manufacturers in Woodstock and throughout Oxford County and our Provincial rep, who covers our Oxford County area, is already out talking to companies. What it will do is it will give some companies opportunities to maybe look at projects where they need to upgrade and look at efficiencies or automate and we will give them an option for funding. Another part of it that, is interesting for smaller to medium size businesses, is they have reduced the plateau for job creation, before they had to create a minimum of 10 jobs, and now with this program, they have reduced it to 5, so that should give smaller or medium size companies a better opportunity to access dollars."
Magyar notes that SOMA is a partnership between seven municipalities that extends from St. Thomas and to Perth County and they work together to attract investments.
"So we do things like investment missions, international trade shows, we host clients who are looking at Southwestern Ontario for potential investments. There is an option, as part of the program for helping groups who do that, we just have to dig into the details, as to how it may be helpful for SOMA and of course Woodstock is a member of SOMA, so how it can benefit Woodstock itself."
He adds it is good to see a long term commitment again to the program.
"We will certainly be out promoting the program to local companies and hope that they will want to take advantage of it."
The funding is in place to help existing companies stay competitive with funding for things like new technologies.