Important business guidance initiative - Estrie to host Government of Canada's next Business Contact

    MAGOG, QC, Jan. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of
State for Canada Economic Development, today announced that the Government of
Canada's next Business Contact event will take place Wednesday, March 18, at
the Delta Sherbrooke hotel and convention centre. A first for the Estrie
region, this event is organized in partnership with the Société d'aide au
développement des collectivités du Haut-Saint-François-the Community Futures
Development Corporation (CFDC) serving the Haut-Saint-François area-and in
collaboration with the Des Sources, Coaticook and Mégantic CFDCs, the
Val-Saint-François and Memphrémagog Business Development Centres (BDCs), the
Cantons-de-l'Est regional tourism association, the Association des
professionnels en développement économique du Québec?Estrie and Innovation
développement économique of Sherbrooke. The aim of this initiative is to
support the Estrie business community in its entrepreneurial endeavours in
order to help diversify the region's economy.

    The purpose of Business Contact is to provide a forum for discussion on
the main challenges and trends facing the region's entrepreneurs and economic
stakeholders. The event gives participants the opportunity to forge contacts,
meet representatives of government departments and agencies, the private
sector and universities, and benefit from these experts' specialized
knowledge. Conferences on the theme of change will also delve into the current
challenges facing the region's manufacturing, tourism and agri-food sectors.

    The Business Floor, a unique component of the Business Contact formula,
is an area dedicated to information, exchange of ideas and consultation.
There, participants can obtain useful information, have their questions
answered and learn more about the many Government of Canada programs and
services available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

    "Designed in cooperation with local stakeholders to reflect the economic
development concerns of the region, Business Contact is intended for
entrepreneurs who want to turn today's challenges into opportunities for
growth. This event clearly illustrates the Government of Canada's
determination, as stated in our Advantage Canada strategic plan, to support
the dynamism of our enterprises and foster their success," explained the
Minister of State.

    "The SADC du Haut-Saint-François is proud to join forces with the other
CFDCs and BDCs of the region in partnering with Canada Economic Development to
bring about this initiative. By facilitating network-building and the sharing
of expertise, Business Contact should help SMEs improve their strategic
capabilities and seize opportunities to ensure their growth," added Richard
Tanguay, President of the SADC du Haut-Saint-François.
    The Minister of State stressed the importance for a large number of
Estrie entrepreneurs and economic stakeholders to take part in the March 18th
Business Contact. "It is my hope that this not-to-be-missed event will pave
the way for numerous development projects in the region," he concluded.

For further information:

For further information: Suzanne Thebarge, Communications, Canada
Economic Development, (514) 496-6714,; Eric
Lefebvre, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Canada
Economic Development, (613) 608-7906,; Canada
Economic Development is online at Subscribe to the Agency's
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