January 19, 2011

THUNDER BAY, Ontario, January 19, 2011 — The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for FedNor, today announced that small businesses across Northern Ontario will have greater access to services, support and financing, giving them more opportunities to grow and create new jobs, thanks to a new investment by the Government of Canada.

"Northern Ontario’s economy is showing encouraging signs of recovery, but it is our government’s job to help make sure that hard-working families and businesses have the tools they need to succeed,” said Minister Clement.  “This investment in local small businesses will help ensure future prosperity by giving them more access to capital and knowledge to build on their ideas.”

The additional $1.136 to the annual budget of the Community Futures Program announced today is part of an $11 million announced in Year Two of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to help Community Futures Organizations across the country adapt to new and changing economic realities, such as increased demand by small businesses, globalization, and a decline in primary resource-based industries in rural communities.

While in Thunder Bay, Minister Clement also announced a FedNor investment of $100,000 in support of the Northwestern Ontario investment pool, a partnership initiative involving many of the region’s CFDCs, geared to helping meet small business demand for larger loans.

Minister Clement made the announcements today at Thunder Bay Hydraulics, a local small business that has benefited from support from Thunder Bay Ventures, one of 24 (CFDCs) financed by FedNor and serving Northern Ontario.

“We view the Government of Canada’s commitment to the Community Futures Program as a vote of confidence in our collective ability to build community capacity to overcome local challenges,” said John Wynn, President, Thunder Bay Ventures.  “In addition, this funding will assist the CFDCs in the region to continue to respond to investment opportunities in a timely fashion.”

To find out more about FedNor, visit us at:

For more information, please contact:

Heather Hume, Press Secretary

Office of the Honourable Tony Clement


Media Relations, Industry Canada


Kim Fewchuk, Communications Officer, FedNor

705-941-2105 or 1-877-333-6673

Community Futures Program Backgrounder:

The Community Futures Program is a national program that strengthens the ability of rural communities to diversify their economic base and provides key support to the development of rural businesses.

The Government of Canada provides funding to support the operations of Community Futures Development Corporations and to allow them to offer repayable loans to small and medium-sized businesses. They are community-based, not-for-profit organizations run by a board of local volunteers and staffed by experienced business and economic development professionals.

There are currently 259 Community Futures organizations across Canada, represented by 19 provincial, regional and national associations. They provide a wide variety of programs and service, including:

· strategic community planning and socio-economic development;

· business information and planning services;

· access to capital for small and medium-sized businesses and social enterprises; and

· support for community-based projects and special initiatives.

In September 2010, the Government of Canada approved the renewal of the Community Futures Program’s terms and conditions which included a number of administrative and accountability improvements.

Year Two of Canada’s Economic Action Plan confirmed the Government of Canada’s commitment to bolster the Program’s permanent budget with funding of $11 million per year ongoing, resulting in total Program funding reaching a level of $82.6 million annually.