October 21, 2005

ESSEX, Ontario, October 21, 2005 – The Honourable Jerry Pickard, Member of Parliament for Chatham-Kent–Essex, on behalf of the Honourable Andy Mitchell, Minister of State (FedNor), today announced a Government of Canada investment of $296,250 in the Essex Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC).  The funding will be used to support the ongoing operations of the CFDC over the next year, including business services and access to capital for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as community economic development efforts.

“This announcement is an example of how the Government of Canada works with local partners to build strong communities,” said Mr. Pickard.  “Over the past 11 years, the Essex CFDC has become a key player in efforts to stimulate economic development, job creation and diversification.”

This week, communities throughout Ontario are celebrating the significant role small and medium-sized businesses and CFDCs play in stimulating economic development in rural and Northern Ontario.  Small Business Week, an initiative of the Business Development Bank of Canada, runs October 16-22, 2005, while on Friday, October 21, the spotlight will be on Community Futures Development Corporations in celebration of CFDC Day.

The Essex CFDC is one of 61 Community Futures Development Corporations in rural and Northern Ontario funded by Industry Canada’s Community Futures Program through FedNor.  CFDCs deliver a wide variety of programs and services to support community economic development and small business growth.  They employ local staff and are each governed by a volunteer board of directors made up of local residents representative of the community.

In the last five years, Ontario CFDCs, through their investment and business counselling activities, invested more than $229 million to help the small business sector create or maintain 26,418 jobs.  Last year, the Essex CFDC invested $355,000 and assisted in creating or maintaining 39 jobs, contributing to an enhanced business community.

“This funding allows us to invest in ventures that require a well-timed infusion of capital to reach the next level of success,” said Martin Breshamer, Chairperson of the Essex CFDC.  “We look forward to pursuing priorities such as expanding the local business base and promoting an entrepreneurial culture.”

Through its investment in CFDCs the Government of Canada is acting on its commitment to support economic growth and diversification in rural communities.

Funding for this initiative was provided for in the February 2005 federal budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.

To find out more about Ontario CFDCs, visit:


For more information, please contact:

Graeme Wilkes
Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Andy Mitchell, Minister of State (FedNor)
(613) 947-5850

Yves Chateauneuf
Communications Officer, Industry Canada/FedNor
(519) 645-5684 or 1 877 333-6673