Harper Government invests in small- and medium-sized businesses

Intake Two of the Community Adjustment Fund supports economic recovery and job creation

ST. CATHARINES, ON, Dec. 15 /CNW/ - Community organizations, small to medium-sized businesses, and municipalities that have been affected by the global recession can now apply for funding under Intake Two of the Community Adjustment Fund. Speaking at the St. Catharines-Thorold Chamber of Commerce, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario) today launched the second phase of the program, which is part of the government's Economic Action Plan.

"The Community Adjustment Fund is creating jobs and stimulating the economy in southern Ontario," said Minister Goodyear. "This expanded intake process will help people, organizations and businesses in smaller communities prosper now and in the future."

SMEs, municipalities, not-for-profits, Aboriginal organizations, colleges and universities are all eligible to submit projects.

The Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) will support projects in and around resource-based and manufacturing communities depending on a single industry. The fund will invest in projects that create immediate job opportunities for communities. It will focus not only on economic development, but innovation and diversification.

Overall funding for the second intake process is $127.8 million in 2010-11.

Applications for funding in 2010-11 will be accepted from December 15, 2009, to January 18, 2010.

For additional details on program eligibility, please see the backgrounder. To download an application, please visit www.southernontario.gc.ca.

CAF is one of a series of initiatives, unveiled as part of the Economic Action Plan, to help communities address the short-term challenges from the economic downturn and prepare them for long-term growth.

This news release is available online at www.southernontario.gc.ca and www.actionplan.gc.ca.

    
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                                 Backgrounder
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                       Community Adjustment Fund (CAF)
    

Announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) was established to deliver economic development programs to support workers, businesses and communities in southern Ontario. Budget 2009 allocated $1 billion over five years for the new Agency.

One of the Agency's mandates is to administer the southern Ontario portion of the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF), a two-year, $1-billion program aimed at addressing the short-term economic needs of communities that have been hard-hit by the global economic recession.

Under Intake One of the program, more than $101 million was invested in 90 projects in southern Ontario. Under the second intake, $127.8 million is available for eligible projects.

Eligible communities

To be eligible for CAF support, projects must be located in a southern Ontario community that has a population of less than 250,000 and

    
    -   has experienced an increase in Employment Insurance beneficiaries
        equal to or greater than 20 per cent over a one-year period; or
    -   has experienced major layoffs resulting in significant job losses and
        has a lack of alternate employment opportunities.
    

Priority will be given to communities that have a population of 100,000 or less and are supported by a single industry.

Eligible applicants

Your organization or enterprise may qualify for CAF funds if it is located in southern Ontario and is one of the following:

    
    -   a commercial enterprise (with a focus on small- and medium-sized
        enterprises (SMEs), defined as having up to 1,000 employees)*;
    -   SME group or association;
    -   incorporated non-profit organization whose primary mission is
        business support or economic development;
    -   organization or institution dedicated to the promotion of knowledge
        and know-how, including colleges, polytechnic institutes,
        universities or teaching institutions;
    -   Aboriginal organization;
    -   municipality or organization owned by a municipality; or
    -   cooperative.

    * With respect to commercial enterprises, the focus of this program
        will be on existing businesses (in operation for at least one year)
        with a proven track record that are looking to expand, modernize,
        innovate, and/or improve their competitiveness. Business start-ups
        will not be supported.
    

Eligible project categories

Examples of eligible projects include:

    
    -   expansion of SME production capacity, production technology, access
        to markets, and other SME projects that improve a business's
        competitiveness;
    -   support of SME development by not-for-profit organizations;
    -   support/enhancement/development of business incubators;
    -   construction/expansion/improvement of technology and innovation
        centres;
    -   technology commercialization projects by universities, colleges,
        polytechnic institutes and post-secondary teaching institutions;
    -   improvement/expansion/construction of transportation infrastructure
        where a clear case for business development can be made;
    -   improvements to community-owned tourism facilities (conference
        centres, exhibition halls); or
    -   revitalization and development of downtown core and waterfront areas.
    

Selection Criteria

Projects will be assessed based on the degree to which they contribute to the expected outcomes of: job creation or preservation; the creation, expansion or strengthening of businesses; and the enhancement of, competitiveness and sustainability of communities and businesses.

Priority will be given to projects that:

    
    -   create immediate and sustained employment;
    -   create the most jobs per dollar invested;
    -   build on collaborative agreements already in place (e.g., federal-
        provincial agreements and existing programs);
    -   provide a legacy of longer-term ecological and/or economic benefits;
        and
    -   demonstrate leveraging of other sources of financing.
    

For additional assessment criteria, please refer to the Program Guidelines.

Repayability

Financial assistance awarded under this program is provided in the form of contributions, which must have a direct economic impact on the region.

Contributions to commercial enterprises are repayable. Contributions to non-profit organizations or municipalities for projects that are not profit generating are generally non-repayable.

Application

A straightforward application form is available to download online at www.southernontario.gc.ca. Applications should be submitted online or by mail to 151 Yonge Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto ON, M5C 2W7. Each project must have a separate and fully completed application form to be considered. If an applicant submits more than one project, these must be ranked in order of priority.

Deadline

Applications to access funding for 2010-11 will be accepted from December 15, 2009, to January 18, 2010. Multi-year projects will not be considered. Applications will be assessed based on merit and against CAF criteria. Applications will be reviewed as they are received by the Agency.

For more information, please refer to the Program Guidelines available on the web site at www.southernontario.gc.ca, email caf-fac@feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

SOURCE FEDERAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR SOUTHERN ONTARIO

For further information: For further information: For media enquiries: Gary Toft, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, (613) 943-7599; Media Relations, Industry Canada, (613) 943-2505

Organization Profile

FEDERAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR SOUTHERN ONTARIO

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