Initial investments under a new northern assistance program are creating more than 50 new jobs—and could help generate as many as 150 more over time in recently-launched small businesses across Northern Ontario.
Last spring, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. introduced the new Northern Ontario Entrepreneur Program (NOEP), which offers grants of up to $125,000 to put new business ideas into action.
Local beneficiaries included “The Attention Joint,” which received $4,800 for the opening of consultation and development therapy services to young children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and NXT Pro Sports Distributing, which got $4,100 to open a business that will patent and distribute an improved neck guard for young hockey players.
NOEP now generates the most applications among all of the NOHFC’s seven assistance programs.
“Small business will always be essential to meeting local needs for products and services,” said NOHFC chair Michael Gravelle, who also is minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry.
“I am confident our Northern Ontario Entrepreneur Program will help grow many success stories that will contribute significantly to the critical mass of jobs in the north,” he added.
To date across the north, a total of 46 new businesses have been launched with NOEP funding totalling more than $2 million and dozens more applications currently are being processed.