Some local businesses and organizations are receiving a federal grant to promote entrepreneurship in youth.
The Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) announced Wednesday that $3.9-million has been granted to 28 youth initiatives across Northern Ontario. Nine of the 28 initiatives are located in Nipissing-Timiskaming.
“The energy and ingenuity of young Canadians are critical to the success of our economy. We know that young entrepreneurs have been hit hard by COVID-19, and we stand with them. Our message to them is clear: we’ve been here for you with immediate measures, we’re here for you now as our economy reopens and we’ll work with you to create more jobs,” said Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor.
FedNor adds that the future of Northern Ontario’s economy relies on the talent and skill of its young people.
“This funding is assisting the City of North Bay in delivering its Business Retention and Expansion program, which is aimed at better understanding the needs of local firms and identifying ways of helping them remain competitive and grow,” said Coun. Dave Mendicino. “It’s important that we hear from our business community and provide support, especially at this time. That’s why we’ve modified how we conduct program visitations so they can be offered virtually as we continue to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Mendicino also added that the program is key because approximately 85 percent of job growth comes from local business and that they are targeting 250 businesses to participate in their program.
“This program is aligned with North Bay Council’s priority of growing the City and is complemented by other economic development initiatives, including a three-year moratorium on residential development charges and new Growth Community Improvement Plan.” He said.
Most of the grants issued are to fund internship positions for youth to be able to assist in entrepreneurial projects. Part of the reasoning for the grant is to help alleviate the economic impact of COVID-19 on small businesses in Northern Ontario.
Nipissing First Nation (NFN) Chief Scott McLeod is pleased with being a part of the initiative.
“It was nice to see that not just Nipissing but the inclusion and promoting indigenous culture was part of it and I was happy to hear that. This is a government that pretty much dismantled most of the Indigenous culture in this country. So, to get funds to start strengthening, rebuilding and promoting Indigenous culture is really an obligation more than anything at this point.” he said.
Chief McLeod also ads that the funds will be used to hire a youth intern to look at promoting NFN cultural and community events and as well as showcasing Indigenous gatherings.
Some of the other local recipients include:
Canadian Institute of Forestry
Hire a youth intern as a Forest Science Outreach Coordinator to assist in the delivery of forest science and knowledge exchange programs.
Corporation of the City of North Bay
To help identify opportunities and solutions to overcome barriers faced by local businesses, the City of North Bay will hire a youth intern to support the implementation of a business retention and expansion program.
Foraco Canada Ltd.
Hire youth intern as a clean-tech drilling assistant to provide on-site support for operational activities.
Nipissing First Nation
To support business development and increase tourism, FedNor funding will be used to hire a youth intern for a two-year period to plan and coordinate events promoting Indigenous culture.
West Nipissing Chamber of Commerce
Hire a youth intern to develop a Business Visitation program that will identify the needs of local businesses and develop strategies to support growth and sustainability efforts.