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FedNor funding North Bay business initiatives

Shopping app and manufacturing facility will share in more than $1.4 million

An app to help consumers shop with local businesses and a manufacturing facility producing drilling equipment will share $1,416,298 in federal funds to help grow their companies.

FedNor announced the funds, which come from the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Fund (REGIF), on April 5.

Of the funding, One Red Maple will receive $916,298 to further develop its online platform that helps consumers to shop with local businesses.

One Red Maple provides pop-up notifications that redirect shoppers to local stores offering the same products as major online retailers.

The platform uses artificial intelligence to identify inventory, match products or provide suggestions for similar items if an exact match can’t be found locally.

The platform currently features businesses from North Bay and will soon be expanded to include companies from across Northern Ontario and Canada.

“We are thrilled that FedNor is helping us create an app that gives customers an easy and efficient way to shop local,” Mark Sherry, One Red Maple’s president, said in a news release.

“Our extension and app are simple to use and bring the shop-local movement to a whole new level. One Red Maple is a catalyst for discovering local economies, creating relationships between online shoppers and their local, Northern Ontario’s/Canadian retailers.”

Pilot Diamond Tools will receive $500,000 to modernize its manufacturing facility and accelerate its transformation into a smart facility.

Funding will be used to purchase specialized equipment designed to increase productivity and optimize manufacturing processes, resulting in more competitive pricing and increased revenues.

The project includes implementing a new enterprise resource planning system (including e-commerce), fabricating and supplying an atmospheric chamber furnace, as well as the purchase and installation of a computer numerical control (CNC) lathe in combination with a CNC waterjet machine.

“FedNor support has been instrumental in our efforts to modernize and grow our manufacturing facilities here at home in North Bay,” Pilot owner Steve Perrin said in the release.

“Today’s announcement will support our transformation into a smart facility and further position Pilot Diamond Tools Ltd. as a leading manufacturer for the production of diamond products for the mining and construction industries.”

Together, the two projects are expected to create up to 19 local jobs in the short term, with the potential to create an additional 340 over the next five years.