Ontario companies get a helping hand with help of export assistance

    TORONTO, April 23 /CNW/ - More Ontario companies are breaking into new
international markets, thanks to assistance from an Ontario Chamber of
Commerce (OCC) cost-sharing program. "Export Market Access" (EMA) is a program
designed to support Ontario's small and medium-sized enterprises. Since its
inception in 2008, EMA, which is managed by the OCC and funded by the
government of Ontario, has assisted 84 companies.
    "Diversification for Ontario companies has never been more important,"
explains Len Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. 
"Events of the last year have provided blunt evidence that reliance on a
single market can have devastating consequences. Ontario companies have
superior expertise and products to offer to the rest of the world but
sometimes just need a little helping hand."
    The approved companies have received on average $11,000 to support their
efforts to make international direct contacts, conduct market research and
develop tools specifically for a new foreign market. These companies vary in
their specialties and are located across the province including, GTA, Ottawa,
Brantford, Kitchener, Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie, London and Stoney Creek.
    "The partnership with the Export Market Access program has enabled
Yfactor to produce professional sales materials and participate in events that
would otherwise not have been possible." explains Anya Codack, CEO of Yfactor
Inc., one of the program participants.
    Yfactor has developed a proprietary software tool that reduces costs by
as much as 75%, and increases sales and membership services at a local level
by making it possible for parent companies to deploy multiple independent
websites on a single platform.
    Recipients operate in a variety of sectors including manufacturing,
agriculture, professional and technical services, marketing, wholesale trade
and culture.
    Applications are processed on a continuous intake basis and many more
applications are currently being reviewed. Funding decisions are made within
30 business days upon receipt of fully completed applications. The online
application and information regarding eligibility criteria can be found at

    The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is a federation of 160 local
chambers of commerce and boards of trade in the Province of Ontario,
representing 60,000 businesses of all sizes, in all economic sectors and from
every area of the province. In its mandate to advocate strong policies on
issues affecting its members, the OCC is currently focused on economic renewal
and business competitiveness. Its over-arching goal is to make Ontario the
most competitive jurisdiction in North America.

For further information:

For further information: Erin Riach, Communications Assistant, Export
Market Access, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, W: (416) 482-5222, ext. 248

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