The federal government is investing $960,000 in the Nickel Basin Federal Economic Development Corporation to help create local jobs and assist with COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre and Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré said that the funds will be delivered through FedNor’s Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario over a three-year period.
They made the announcement during a virtual funding announcement on Thursday.
As a result of this investment, Nickel Basin will be able to assist about 60 businesses with start-up, maintenance and expansion efforts, which are expected to create and maintain up to 675 local jobs.
“I’m thrilled that today’s announcement will allow Nickel Basin to provide ongoing support to Nickel Belt-Greater Sudbury’s business community. This strategic investment will support recovery efforts, generate business opportunities and attract private-sector investment and good-paying jobs to the region,” said Serré.
“Targeted, carefully thought-out investments just like this one are one of the many ways we are supporting local business and positioning our economy to come roaring back, stronger than ever before.”
The Nickel Basin Federal Development Corporation is an incorporated not-for-profit organization with a mandate to administer a community loan fund in support of small- and medium-sized businesses.
For more than 20 years, the organization has been helping local entrepreneurs start or expand their businesses, create local jobs and support a stronger, more diversified economy.
Based in Sudbury, Nickel Basin provides a full range of business development services, including access to capital, mentoring, information and referrals.
To accelerate the growth of scalable technology start-ups, the organization also administers the Sudbury Catalyst Fund, which makes equity investments in start-up companies in key sectors including, clean tech, biomed and advanced manufacturing.
Jeff Sutton, founder and president of Sudbury start-up VERV Technologies, credits the Sudbury Catalyst Fund with helping his business develop and commercialize a blood plasma separator device that can perform at-home blood testing and analysis.
“This type of start-up with high technology requires high skills and requires a significant capital investment. Government has done some terrific things to start health-care businesses in Sudbury, and one of them is the Sudbury Catalyst Fund,” he said.
“(The fund) allows entrepreneurs, such as myself, to go and present their case, just like they would do to other angel investors. We did that recently, and we secured funding through Nickel Basin.”
The funding VERV Technologies secured has already allowed the company to hire three highly skilled employees who have moved to Greater Sudbury.
The company is expecting to hire one more employee in January, with the hopes of creating more jobs in the future.
“If our start-up works, we will create many more jobs in our local community where our kids can grow up and don’t have to move. Good ideas can be done here.”
Since its inception in September 2000, Nickel Basin has authorized business loans totaling more than $40 million while helping to create and maintain nearly 5,000 jobs, according to the government.
“We are proud to partner with the Government of Canada through FedNor to support local businesses, create jobs and help maximize the economic potential of the Greater Sudbury region,” said Paul Reid, chair of Nickel Basin.
“As we recover from the impacts of COVID-19, Nickel Basin is also stepping up efforts to support our recovery by helping businesses stay afloat, keep their doors open and overcome challenges caused by the pandemic.”
The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.
Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star