March 19, 2014: Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Joe Preston celebrated with local
businesses in the riding an $8 million, non-repayable contribution to the Western
Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Association, to allow it to continue
to deliver the Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation in southwestern
Ontario (SOFII West).
The top-up investment, announced by Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev
Ontario, will help to address new demand for loans, with a focus on the information
and communications technology and food processing sectors.
This contribution is made possible through FedDev Ontario's Prosperity Initiative.
Today's announcement regarding the funds followed a series of stakeholder roundtables
Minister Goodyear held in the past few months regarding challenges and opportunities
for southern Ontario's economy.
In July 2012, FedDev Ontario announced that the Western Ontario Community Futures
Development Corporation Association would receive a contribution of up to $12 million
under the Prosperity Initiative to capitalize and manage SOFII West, a self-sustaining,
revolving loan fund, delivered in southwestern Ontario. Projects supported through
SOFII West qualify for interest-bearing loans valued from $150,000 to $500,000.
The loans aim to address the growth challenges faced by innovative small- and medium-sized
enterprises, including: late-stage commercialization; development of a new product
or service; finding new applications or markets; and the development or implementation
of new processes or technologies.
"Our Government recognizes that innovation is a vehicle for prosperity in our communities,"
said MP Preston. "Through this Fund, we are investing in innovative companies that
will create new business prospects and help to secure a prosperous future for all
of southwestern Ontario."