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New SMART funding to help Ontario manufacturers go global

Published by Derek Lothian on January 10, 2012

Photo: Jayson Myers, president and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (middle), and Ian Howcroft, vice president, CME Ontario (right), sign the official funding agreement alongside Jane Schepansky, senior business development manager with FedDev (left).

New funding announced today by the Government of Canada will assist manufacturers in southern Ontario strengthen their overall competitiveness and access new business opportunities around the world, according to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).

The $18.9 million investment provided by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev) aims to provide the resources necessary for exporting and export-ready manufacturers to assess and undertake a variety of productivity improvement projects. The funding, which was a priority of CME during the previous budget, will be distributed through the associationʼs new SMART Prosperity Now program.

"Two of the largest challenges that companies will face in 2012 are finding new customers and enhancing productivity performance," explains Ian Howcroft, vice president, CME Ontario. "This initiative will allow manufacturers to commercialize new technologies, invest in equipment, increase efficiency and ultimately boost their global competitiveness."

Productivity assessments will be eligible to receive funding up to 50 per cent of costs to a maximum $5,000, while productivity improvement projects may qualify to receive 33 per cent of costs to a maximum $75,000.

To help businesses navigate this initiative, CME will be hosting a series of workshops
throughout the region in the coming months.

"We commend the government for their renewed commitment to strengthening the manufacturing sector and providing support for Ontarioʼs job creators," says Howcroft. "Amidst a myriad of economic challenges, it is important we provide the leadership and the tools to make a difference. And thatʼs what CME is all about."

CME expects to begin accepting applications in early February.

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