Southern Ontario businesses will have greater access to venture capital money through a new investment from FedDev Ontario



    LONDON, ON, Sept. 1 /CNW/ - Small and medium-sized enterprises in
Southern Ontario will have greater access to venture capital money, thanks to
an new investment announced today by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of
State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev
Ontario).
    "This investment will give new and growing businesses the opportunity to
expand and create jobs," said Minister of State Goodyear. "As Canada emerges
from the global recession, providing firms with more access to venture capital
money will also help lead to greater prosperity in Southern Ontario."
    "Canada needs entrepreneurs who can turn new ideas and technology into
attractive products and successful companies," said Jacques Simoneau,
Executive Vice President, Investments, at the Business Development Bank of
Canada (BDC). "The funding that is being made available today by the
Government of Canada will strengthen the BDC's efforts to help deserving
Canadian high-tech ventures in Southern Ontario in the current economy."
    FedDev Ontario will provide $50 million to the BDC, including $35 million
in capital to place direct investments in early-stage firms in Southern
Ontario and $15 million to invest in Ontario-based venture capital funds
focused on Ontario-based opportunities.
    As part of its decision-making process, the BDC will collaborate with the
Ontario Venture Capital Fund, which is a partnership between the Ontario
government, the BDC, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Capital
Partners, RBC Capital Partners, Manulife Financial, and TD Bank Financial
Group and is managed by TD Capital Private Equity Investors.
    The BDC's venture capital investments support the development of
high-potential Canadian technology companies and help cultivate them into
globally focused, growth-oriented companies. The BDC's specialized equity
investments cover every stage of a company's development cycle, from pre-seed
through expansion. Investments target multiple sectors: Information and
Communication Technologies (IT and Telecommunications), Life Sciences (Drug
Discovery and Medical Technologies), and Energy (Environment, Electronics and
Materials).
    The BDC is Canada's business development bank. From more than 100 offices
across the country, the BDC promotes entrepreneurship by providing highly
tailored financing, venture capital and consulting services to entrepreneurs.
    To learn more, please visit the <a href="http://www.bdc.ca/">BDC website</a> or the <a href="http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/">Canada's Economic
Action Plan</a> website.

    
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    If there is a discrepancy between any printed version and the electronic
    version of this news release, the electronic version will prevail.
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    This news release is available on the <a href="http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/">Canada's Economic Action Plan</a>
    website.



                                 Backgrounder
           Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
    

    In Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada committed to
providing short-term stimulus to communities hard-hit by the recession while
delivering long-term funding designed to promote economic growth, job creation
and innovation. Budget 2009 provided $1 billion over five years for a new
economic development agency for Southern Ontario.
    On August 13, 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally launched the
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
This new agency is charged with delivering federal government economic
development programs tailored to the specific priorities of workers,
businesses and communities in Southern Ontario.
    The Prime Minister announced that the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister
of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for
Southern Ontario) has assumed responsibility for the Agency and that B.A.
(Bruce) Archibald is serving as its first President.
    In its first year of operation, FedDev Ontario will focus on putting
economic development programs into action. The Agency will assess immediate
opportunities and needs, then bridge into broader program initiatives once it
is fully operational.
    FedDev Ontario and Industry Canada will work with community stakeholders
to identify and support projects that address current economic challenges.
    The Agency will initially use existing programs and partnerships to
expedite the provision of funds. This will start money flowing immediately
into Southern Ontario communities and businesses.
    Funding in 2009-10 will be approximately $206 million, including
operating costs, focused on three priority areas: economic development,
diversification and community development.
    The Southern Ontario Development Program has been established to promote
economic development, economic diversification and job creation. As a core
program, it will deliver close to $100 million in funding over 2009-10.
    FedDev Ontario will help Southern Ontario communities diversify their
local economies and expand into a wider range of value-added and
technology-driven products and services. It will provide the tools for its
partners in the region to build on their strengths, positioning Southern
Ontario to succeed in the knowledge-based economy.

    
    PROGRAMS TO BE ADMINISTERED BY FEDDEV ONTARIO
    ---------------------------------------------
    

    Southern Ontario programs to be administered by, or in conjunction with,
FedDev Ontario include:

    Community Adjustment Fund in Ontario

    The Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) is a short-term economic stimulus for
communities impacted by the global recession. Part of Canada's Economic Action
Plan, the fund supports projects that create jobs and maintain employment in
and around the communities that have been most severely affected by the
economic downturn.
    Funding is available for eligible projects that can be completed before
March 31, 2010. Applications for 2010-11 CAF project funds will be accepted by
FedDev Ontario later this year.

    National Research Council - Industrial Research Assistance Program

    National Research Council Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program
(NRC-IRAP) stimulates wealth creation for Canada through technological
innovation. It provides financial and technological assistance to small and
medium-sized enterprises, targeting those engaged in the research,
development, adaptation, adoption, or commercialization of innovative
products, services or processes.
    NRC-IRAP already has $67.3 million in funds available, and will receive
an additional $27.5 million to further build the innovative capacities of
Southern Ontario's small and medium-sized enterprises.

    Community Futures Program

    Ontario's Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) will receive
an additional $30 million from the Community Adjustment Fund in 2009-10. The
Community Futures Program assists rural and northern communities to strengthen
and diversify their economies.
    The Program is implemented through CFDCs located in communities across
the province, including 37 in rural Southern Ontario. Small and medium-sized
enterprises, as well as non-profit organizations, can receive repayable
financing and important support services.

    Business Development Bank of Canada

    The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will invest a total of $50
million in Southern Ontario through direct investments in firms and through
investments in venture capital funds. These investments support the
development of high-potential Canadian technology companies and will help
develop a high-performing, sustainable venture capital industry in the region.



    
                                 Backgrounder
                     Business Development Bank of Canada
    

    The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) aims to accelerate the
success of entrepreneurs and help develop Canadian businesses by providing
financing, venture capital and consulting services with a focus on small and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The BDC does not offer grants or subsidies;
rather, it seeks to earn a return from the business financing it provides
while extending financing into market niches that would not otherwise be
served.
    The BDC is mandated to be a complementary lender in the market, offering
loans and investments that supplement or complete services already available
from commercial financial institutions. Its financial activities include
secured and unsecured loans; subordinate financing, which incorporates
elements of debt and equity financing; direct and indirect venture capital
investments with a focus on early-stage high-technology ventures; and
customized business consulting services.

    
    The BDC's role is magnified during economic slowdowns. Since the start of
    the credit crisis, the BDC has introduced a number of remedial measures.
    It has:

    -   increased overall financing activity;
    -   extended repayment terms on new authorizations;
    -   offered postponement of capital repayment;
    -   increased support to manufacturers and dedicated a team to help
        Ontario auto parts manufacturers in particular;
    -   introduced the Operating Line of Credit Guarantee;
    -   seen a significant increase in referrals from financial institutions;
        and
    -   launched a new working capital loan for expansion projects abroad.
    

    In fiscal 2008-09, the BDC authorized $3.1 billion in new loans. It has
also conducted approximately $1.3 billion in activity under the Business
Credit Availability Program, as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan.
    The BDC holds a loan portfolio of about $11 billion. Broken down by
industry sector, this translates into 30.4 percent of its loans for the
manufacturing sector, 21 percent for wholesale and retail trade, 12.5 percent
for tourism, 7 percent for construction, 5.1 percent for transportation and
storage, 7.4 percent for commercial properties, 4.5 percent for business
services, and 12.1 percent for other industries.
    The BDC has both a physical and a virtual pan-Canadian presence, serving
over 28 000 Canadian entrepreneurs through 100 branches in all regions of the
country. It provides advice and financing to entrepreneurs from diverse
backgrounds, venture capital for start-ups, and working capital to help small
exporters bridge the gap between the Canadian market in which they operate and
their targeted international market. The BDC is well positioned to help its
clients and will continue to support Canadian entrepreneurs as a whole.





For further information:

For further information: Gary Toft, Director of Communications, Office
of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology),
Minister of State (FedDev Ontario), (613) 943-7599; Johanne Bissonnette, Media
Relations Manager, Business Development Bank of Canada, (514) 283-7929,
johanne.bissonnette@bdc.ca; Media Relations, Industry Canada, (613) 943-2502


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