Minister Goodyear announces investment to help small- and medium-sized
businesses access international markets

SARNIA, ON, Nov. 12 /CNW/ - Southern Ontario businesses that would like to increase their sales internationally can get assistance thanks to a new investment announced by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

"This investment will help small- and medium-sized businesses export their products so they can expand and create new jobs," said Minister Goodyear. "Our government is committed to providing greater economic opportunities for the people, businesses and communities of Southern Ontario."

FedDev Ontario will provide $1.6 million to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce's Export Market Access program. This investment will provide small- to medium-sized enterprises with the tools and resources they need to improve their position in key foreign markets. It will also support two trade missions: one to China and Hong Kong, and one to India. The program will fund up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $30,000 per project. For details on the Export Market Access Program, please see the backgrounder.

"We are extremely happy to be able to accept further support for the Export Market Access program, which has already helped almost 200 Ontario firms diversify their exports," says Len Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "Ontario business is able and eager to compete with the world and with a little help can overcome the challenges associated with breaking into new or expanding current export markets."

This funding follows the recent announcements of a $20-million intake for the food and beverage processing sector, a $15.75-million investment in the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters SMART Program, and a $55-million application intake under the Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP).

For more information on the SODP and details regarding the intake processes, please visit the FedDev Ontario web site at www.southernontario.gc.ca.

The Southern Ontario Development Program was established to promote economic development, economic diversification, job creation and sustainable communities in Southern Ontario. The SODP is just one in a series of initiatives introduced in the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan designed to address the short-term effects of the economic decline on communities across Canada, while preparing our communities for long-term growth.

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

    
     Investment from FedDev Ontario Enhances Ontario Chamber of Commerce
                         Export Market Access Program
    

As the most diverse and influential business group in the province, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) works closely with governments, labour, academia and businesses to create a stronger and more vibrant economy in Ontario.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce represents more than 60,000 members through 160 independent chambers of commerce and boards of trade province wide. The Export Market Access (EMA) Program was launched in July 2008 with support and funding from the Government of Ontario.

To date, direct funding to almost 200 companies has been provided through the EMA Program.

This investment from the Government of Canada to extend the EMA program will provide critical support to small- and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) by funding projects that are focused on improving their position in global markets. It will also support two trade missions: one to China and Hong Kong, and one to India.

    
    The EMA program will provide up to 50 per cent of a project's eligible
costs, to a maximum of $30,000 per project and is specifically designed to:

    -   Assist SMEs access and expand their growth in new international
        markets that are beyond the U.S.;
    -   Encourage SME exporters to the U.S. to seek other global markets
        (based on the application, there may be circumstances for those who
        are currently exporting to the U.S. to develop another U.S. market);
        and
    -   Increase export sales of Ontario goods and services by sharing the
        cost of initiatives that companies normally could not or would not
        undertake alone, thereby reducing risks involved in entering a
        foreign market.

    To be eligible for funding SMEs must: have between five and 500 full-time
employees at an Ontario facility; have a minimum of $500,000 in annual sales;
be a registered company for at least two years; and have existing goods and
services produced in Ontario.

    Eligible project activities include:

    1.  Direct Contacts
        International trade shows, fairs and exhibits as well as incoming and
        outgoing missions which are verifiable and supported by a recognized
        third party such as governments (municipal, provincial and federal)
        and trade-related organizations.

    2.  Marketing Tools
        Developing promotional materials to be used for increasing awareness
        of applicant's activities, and goods and services for potential
        international buyers and/or foreign audiences to broadly market the
        applicant's products.

    3.  Market Research
        Conducting market research to target more precise international
        markets.

    4.  Foreign Bidding Projects
        Intended for providers of professional services (engineering,
        consulting, constructions, etc.) bidding on foreign projects against
        foreign competition.

    Selection Criteria

    Applications that meet the eligibility criteria will be forwarded to the
EMA review committee for consideration. The review committee consists of OCC
representatives, members of the OCC Board of Directors and external
representatives. The review committee will assess applications using the
following criteria:

    -   Eligibility of activities and expenditures for funding and linking of
        proposed activities to EMA's objectives;
    -   Financial and management capability of the applicant to complete the
        proposed activities as described in a timely basis;
    -   Level of funding requested in relation to the performance
        measurement;
    -   Validation of expected results and outcomes - what are the
        measurements, how will these be measured and what performance
        indicators will be used; and
    -   Completeness of the application.
    

Applications

EMA is a continuous intake program and as such applications are processed as they are received. Applicants are encouraged to submit their project-ready applications to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. Applications will be assessed based on merit and against EMA criteria. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce will announce funded projects.

Applicants can submit proposals containing up to two markets and are able to apply under more than one category. EMA will provide a decision within 30 business days upon receipt of a complete application. To access the application form, please visit http://exportaccess.ca/ and follow the instructions contained in the User Guide for the On-Line Application. Applications must be submitted on-line.

For more information on the EMA program, visit http://exportaccess.ca/ or contact the EMA team at 416-482-5222.

SOURCE FEDERAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR SOUTHERN ONTARIO

For further information: For further information: 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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