Ontario Supports Craft Brewers



    $8 million to help small brewers succeed

    TORONTO, Sept. 26 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    The Government of Ontario is making an $8-million commitment to help
ensure the prosperity of small brewers for many years to come.
    Ontario Small Brewers will receive $1.8-million a year for four years
starting this year. The funds will be shared between all Ontario brewers that
produce less than 300,000 hectolitres of beer each year. An additional
$200,000 will be provided annually to the Ontario Craft Brewers Association.
    This builds upon the $1-million provided annually over a five-year period
through the existing Ontario Microbrewery Strategy.
    Partnering with business is an important part of our government's
five-point plan to grow Ontario's economy.

    QUOTES

    "This is another example of how our government teams up with a valued
business partner to ensure the growth and long-term prosperity of Ontario's
small brewers," said Harinder Takhar, Minister of Small Business and Consumer
Services.

    "With this investment, the McGuinty government is helping small Ontario
brewers market their great tasting products. Its good news for our craft
breweries and good news for the hundreds of people employed in this industry,"
said John Hay, President of the Ontario Craft Brewers Association.

    QUICK FACTS

    
    -   Small brewers are important economic generators in local communities
        across Ontario.
    -   Approximately 40 licenced craft brewers in Ontario will be eligible
        for grants of up to six-cents per litre for sales of their craft
        beer, to a maximum of $1-million per brewery annually.

    LEARN MORE

    Interested in Small Business? Visit the Ministry of Small Business and
Consumer Services (http://www.sbe.gov.on.ca/ontcan/sbe/index.jsp)
    Find out more about the Ontario Craft Brewers
(http://www.ontariocraftbrewers.com/)

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    BACKGROUNDER
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                   ONTARIO CRAFT BREWERS OPPORTUNITY FUND
    

    The Ontario Government is continuing its support of small and medium
enterprises (SMEs) by creating a new, four-year, $8 million Ontario Craft
Brewers Opportunity Fund (OCBOF). Small brewers generate jobs and economic
activity in their local communities. They also promote our agricultural
economy. The new program supports the government's five point plan to grow a
stronger Ontario economy.
    The new Opportunity Fund builds on the current five-year, $5 million
Ontario Microbrewery Strategy that provides financial assistance to the
Ontario Craft Brewers Association, also known as Ontario Craft Brewers
Association, for marketing, training and other promotion activities for
Ontario's small brewers.
    Approximately 40 licensed Ontario small brewers with operations across
the province will be eligible to participate in the new program.

    KEY FEATURES

    
    -   A maximum $1.8 million available in 2008-09 and for each of the next
        three years for all Ontario small brewers producing less than
        300,000 hectolitres of beer annually.
    -   Licensed Ontario small brewers will be eligible for grants of up to
        6 cents per litre for sales of their craft beer in Ontario, to a
        maximum of $1 million per brewery annually.
    -   Funding to be used to support business development and expansion.
    -   $200,000 annually to be provided to Ontario Craft Brewers Association
        for continued marketing and promotion of the industry.
    

    The OCBOF will be administered by the Ministry of Small Business and
Consumer Services. The Ministry will work closely with the Alcohol and Gaming
Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and other partners to deliver the program.
    Further details, including application guidelines, will be released to
all licensed Ontario small brewers in the near future.

    
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For further information:

For further information: Sarbjit Kaur, Minister's Office (416) 326-1939;
Cindy Greeniaus, Communications Branch (416) 212-0678

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