FedNor Funding to Boost Kenora Area Businesses

FedNor renews operating funding for three Northwestern Ontario Community Futures Development Corporations.

FedNor announced continued funding for three Future Aid Societies in the Kenora area, helping local businesses and nonprofits access capital, business advice and support. ‘other supports.

The federal agency on Friday announced more than $ 6.6 million in funding, much of which spans five years, for the Lake of the Woods Business Incentive Corporation, the Chukuni Communities Development Corporation and Patricia Area Community Endeavors. .

Most of this funding simply provides ongoing operating grants for the three agencies at the same levels they have been for several years, while some additional one-time funding will support loans and new initiatives.

The funding will support more than 400 businesses and help create or maintain up to 1,155 jobs in the region, FedNor said in a statement.

The Lake of the Woods Business Incentive Corporation will receive operating funding of $ 1.5 million over five years, while maintaining an annual operating budget of $ 300,000.

LOWBIC will also receive one-time funding of $ 1 million to support loans to start-ups and small businesses in the Kenora area, which executive director Ryan Reynard said would be added to an existing investment fund.

The Chukuni Communities Development Corporation of Red Lake will also receive $ 1.5 million over five years in operating funding.

FedNor also announced that Chukuni will receive $ 750,000 to support funding for small businesses and social enterprises in Red Lake, Ear Falls and surrounding areas.

Meanwhile, Patricia Area Community Endeavors (PACE) will receive $ 1.6 million in operating dollars over five years, maintaining its current funding level.

PACE’s service area includes the towns of Ignace, Machin, Dryden, Sioux Lookout and Pickle Lake, as well as the Lac Seul, Eagle Lake and Wabigoon Lake First Nations.

The agency will also receive $ 258,786 to hire a program coordinator to create and launch three new business programs designed to support entrepreneurs through mentorship, remote work transitions and access to services. of a business incubator.

“What we hope to do is help businesses in transition, but also help counter retirement,” said Caroline Goulding, CEO of PACE.

A number of business owners in the region will be retiring soon, and the agency hopes to create peer-to-peer business consulting opportunities to help share their expertise with new entrepreneurs.

PACE is particularly focused on supporting the tourism sector after the closure of the Federal Regional Relief and Stimulus Fund, with many businesses still reeling from the closure of the Canada-U.S. Border. It’s not uncommon for lodges in the area to have 95% American clientele, Goulding noted.

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