Sherbrooke was less affected by the economic crisis - Sherbrooke
distinguishes itself due to companies within its key sectors

SHERBROOKE, QC, April 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Despite the 2009 global economic crisis, Sherbrooke emerged from this difficult year less affected than other major Quebec and Montreal metropolitan areas. In fact, Sherbrooke ended 2009 with investments totalling over $448 million, of which $153 million is derived from industrial and tertiary sectors, an unemployment rate lower than the provincial average by 1.6%, and positive growth in job creation.

Sherbrooke Innopole's Executive Director, Mr. Pierre Bélanger, comments on these favorable results, 'The diversity of Sherbrooke's economy played a major role in our capacity to weather the crisis. The production sector, particularly affected by this economic crisis, represents only 13% of the Sherbrooke job market. In addition, jobs in five specific sectors which make up Sherbrooke's industrial sector are extremely diversified, an important fact in helping to minimize the negative impacts generated by the difficult global situation. Sherbrooke's diverse economic structure also accounts for its 6.9% unemployment rate at the end of 2009 in comparison with the province's higher rate of 8.5%.'

Although Sherbrooke registered a net increase of 500 jobs, all sectors included, for 2009, the industrial and tertiary sectors registered a net loss of 1804 jobs, a 4.9% decrease compared to the previous year.

It must also be noted that the number of building permits and authorization certificates increased in all construction categories, resulting in a 4.5% growth in investment values from 2008, representing a total of approximately $298 million in 2009. There was also a rise in new construction, increasing from 800 in 2008 to 823 in 2009. However, Tekna Systèmes Plasma Inc. and Groupe Surplec International are jointly responsible for two major construction projects involving new buildings. The commercial sector experienced a 27% decrease in financial investments yet registered an increase in 2009 project realization from 2008.

Sherbrooke registered a healthy tax growth, peaking at $10.6 million in 2009. Since the new valuation role of 2006, property value has increased an average of 2.3% annually.

Sherbrooke Innopole, through its CLD mandate, is also a leading financial partner for local companies. The organization's various investment funds, managed by Sherbrooke Innopole and its partners Pro-Gestion and Corporation de développement économique communautaire de Sherbrooke (CDEC), have generated investments of over $18.5 million in Sherbrooke companies in 2009. As for the two Regional Economic Intervention Funds (FIER), they generated close to $6 million in economic returns in 2009.

During the same year, major accomplishments were implemented within Sherbrooke's socio-economic sector, symbolizing inspirational success for the entire community. With great pride, Sherbrooke Innopole's Executive Director, Mr. Pierre Bélanger, states, 'Sherbrooke is strong, strengthened by the presence of dynamic and high performance companies which not only possess outstanding entrepreneurial qualities but are innovation driven. Despite a particularly trying year, an impressive number of Sherbrooke firms multiplied their efforts, creativity, and imagination in order to overcome the difficulties faced. Companies such as Tranzyme Pharma, Technologies Dual-ADE Inc., Surplec HV solutions, NGC Aérospatiale, Enerkem, Nad Klima, Tekna Plasma Systems immediately come to mind, companies which, like numerous other Sherbrooke firms, are steadfastly engaged on a daily basis, determined to emerge as the best in their fields.'

The professionals at Sherbrooke Innopole will, throughout the next year, develop and clearly identify the new collective willpower to generate wealth and prosperity through innovative ideas and approaches; our team will pursue the collaborative work and efforts, initiated in 2009 by organizations, institutions, and companies from Sherbrooke.


For further information: For further information: Daniel Nadeau, CEO and Vice-President, Nadeau Bellavance, (819) 562-9998; Source: Pierre Bélanger, Executive Director, Sherbrooke Innopole, (819) 821-5577

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