• James Armstrong

Federal government invests in Vaudreuil-Soulanges small businesses


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Representatives from DEV, Karine Lechasseur (left) and Marie-Eve Ménard, announced a recently instituted English language workshop for local entrepreneurs and business owners.

Approximately 80 business owners and entrepreneurs from the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region attended a lunch-time presentation organized and hosted by Federal Member of Parliament for Vaudreuil-Soulanges Peter Schiefke on Friday, April 27 at the Centre Multisports Vaudreuil-Dorion. The event was comprised of presentations by Schiefke and his team, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Développement Vaudreuil-Soulanges (DEV).

Federal government grants and subsidies

Schiefke emphasized that the federal Liberal Party was keeping its campaign promises to create opportunities for small and medium sized businesses and build a stronger economy.

“There are 895 pockets of funding available at the federal level,” was his message to the more than 10,000 small businesses in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region. Out of those programs of grants and loans, 365 are available in the province through the Economic Development Program of Quebec. (For complete information see www.entreprisescanada.ca).

He said the Canada Summer Jobs Program provides 50 per cent of the minimum wage salary for students hired by small businesses in the area. In the case of non-profit organizations, it provides 100 per cent of the salary of a student hired at minimum wage. “It provides support that is literally a game changer for many businesses and organization that are running on very limited resources,” said Schiefke.

Support for women

In his presentation, Schiefke noted that the Liberal government had taken legislative steps to create wage equity for women along with financial support of $105 million in the 2018 budget for businesses owned and directed by women. As well, the government invested $1.65 billion to improve access to capital for women through the BDC.

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

The BDC is a financial institution and Crown corporation funded by the federal government that operates at arm’s length from the Government of Canada. Its sole purpose is to support Canadian entrepreneurs with financing, advisory services and investment capital. “Behind all the numbers are the entrepreneurs and innovators who create employment,” said Hugues Gagnon, Major Account Manager from the Vaudreuil-Soulanges BDC Business Centre. He said the BDC provides financing for business start-ups, purchase of a business, investment in buildings, purchase of equipment, developing new markets and more. According to his presentation, a small business can apply for a loan online with the BDC for up $100,000 and receive it in five working days or less.

When asked about the interest rates, Gagnon replied that they vary depending on the credit rating of the applicant. The BDC does not offer credit lines, interest free loans, grants, term deposits, bank accounts, credit cards, non-commercial or residential loans or guaranteed investment certificates. (For further information, visit www.bdc.ca.)

Développement Vaudreuil-Soulanges (DEV)

Also known as Centre Local de Développement Vaudreuil-Soulanges, DEV was represented by Director of Public Relations Karine Lechasseur and Economic Development Councilor Marie-Eve Ménard.

“Vaudreuil-Soulanges is a vast region where we have agriculture, tourism, and an enormous amount of commercial activity,” said Lechasseur in her opening remarks. As a non-profit organization, DEV provides free individualized support and various types of financing to entrepreneurs, the self-employed, investors and organizations willing to develop new projects in the region.

“Our team coordinates different support services in all sectors: industrial, commercial, tourism, rural and agricultural,” she said. For example, DEV provides funding to help young entrepreneurs develop and start-up a business project or purchase and expand an existing business.

“We are also proud to announce that we had our first workshop in English two weeks ago,” added Ménard to a round of applause. “We are there to help you through all the steps to create a business plan and make sure, at the end, your business will be successful.” The Quebec government funds the organization.

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