Changes to Provide Northern Entrepreneurs More Opportunities to Grow Northern Economy: Selinger
Under a renewed Northern Development Strategy, northern Manitobans will have enhanced access to a greater range of business loans and services under changes to the Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF) announced here today by Premier Greg Selinger at the opening ceremonies of the 2011 Northern Trappers’ Festival.
“Business opportunities in northern Manitoba have evolved a great deal since the early days of the fur trade celebrated every year here at Trappers’,” said Selinger. “For the last 40 years, the Communities Economic Development Fund has provided critical support to northern entrepreneurs starting and expanding a wide range of businesses. The changes we are announcing today will build on CEDF’s solid track record by ensuring northerners continue to have the right tools to keep growing our economy in an ever-changing business climate.”
Among the changes announced today, the CEDF will seek to increase its visibility in the marketplace by moving from program-specific offices to one-stop shops known as Client Service Centres to better assist clients with an expanded range of product offerings and business development resources.
Specifically, CEDF will now offer increased loan limits under three distinct business loan types:
- CEDF Business Line – up to $75,000 for asset-backed working capital products.
- CEDF Equipment Line – loans of up to $1 million for production equipment in all sectors.
- CEDF Builder Loan – up to $2 million for real property mortgages up to 15 years, five-year term, with a minimum 10 per cent down payment.
CEDF will also continue offering its Fisheries Loan program which provides capital to commercial fishers, and community economic development programs under contract with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.
“We anticipate our portfolio will grow as a result of these important changes,” said Gordon Wakeling, chief executive officer of CEDF. “This will further reduce the fund’s overall dependency on the provincial government and help build an even more self-sufficient economy in northern Manitoba.”
CEDF loans provide capital under terms and conditions that enable northern entrepreneurs to take advantage of economic opportunities and to provide services the region might not otherwise enjoy, Selinger said. In addition, reliable access to capital allows for the orderly succession of businesses, further encouraging investment in the region, he noted.
Manitoba’s Northern Development Strategy was created in 2000 as a vision to realize the potential of northern Manitoba for the benefit of northerners and all Manitobans through investments in economic development, education and training, transportation, health services and housing. For more information on Manitoba’s renewed Northern Development Strategy, visit: www.gov.mb.ca/ana/info/nds.html.