July 27, 2005

TIMMINS, Ontario, July 26, 2005 – The Honourable Andy Mitchell, Minister of State (FedNor), today announced FedNor support of $695,000 to the local Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) known as The Venture Centre/Le Centre de développement.  Of the total, $350,000 will augment the CFDC’s investment activities in the region, an additional $295,000 will go towards the organization’s ongoing operations, and $50,000 is earmarked for a Local Initiatives Contribution.

The Venture Centre has played a key role in strengthening the regional economy for over a decade by providing area businesses and communities access to the capital and resources they require to prosper,” said Minister Mitchell.  “The Government of Canada is committed to investing in local level partners such as CFDCs to foster business growth, diversity, and job creation in the North.”

The additional investment capital will allow The Venture Centre/Le Centre de développement to continue to provide small to medium-sized businesses with loans, equity and loan guarantees.  These funds are required to meet an increasing demand from businesses in the region.

The Local Initiatives Contribution will allow the CFDC to continue to provide up to $5,000 to community economic development projects, particularly those which help communities adapt to the global, knowledge-based economy.  These can include pre-feasibility studies, research projects, technology initiatives, efforts promoting innovation and new technology, development of on-line business services, and marketing/promotional activities.

The Venture Centre/Le Centre de développement is one of 61 CFDCs 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, Northern Ontario CFDCs have successfully invested more than $101 million through their loans and business counselling activities to help the small business sector create or maintain 10,621 jobs in the North.  Last year, The Venture Centre/Le Centre de développement invested $667,184 and assisted in creating or maintaining 64 jobs, contributing to an enhanced business community.

“This contribution allows us to invest in projects to stimulate the local economy and assist small and medium-sized enterprises in succeeding,” said Gerry Talbot, Chair of The Venture Centre/Le Centre de développement.  “We look forward to continuing to play an active and important role in ensuring the long-term prosperity of the businesses and communities we serve.”

FedNor helps rural and Northern communities strengthen their economies and create jobs.  By partnering with CFDCs such as The Venture Centre/Le Centre de développement, FedNor is opening doors and building futures for a prosperous Northern Ontario.

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

Mario Paluzzi
Communications Officer, FedNor
(705) 941-2064 or 1 877 333-6673