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Thunder Bay manufacturers land FedNor funding to grow operations, create jobs

Nu-Tech Metals, Thunder Bay Hydraulics, Heartbeat Hot Sauce Company haul in $850,000
Marcus Powlowski photo
(Marcus Powlowski photo)

Three Thunder Bay businesses received a total of $848,748 in FedNor funding to boost production, expand operations and create 22 jobs.

Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Marcus Powlowski made the Mar. 17 announcement on behalf of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister Mélanie Joly.

Nu-Tech Metals Sales & Service received $382,250 for a new laser cutting table that will improve the company's production and create three jobs. FedNor said this machine is the only one of its kind in northwestern Ontario and is available for hire.

Thunder Bay Hydraulics pulled in $276,750 to upgrade its operations, as well as design and manufacture a hydraulic scissor-lift for use in commercial markets. The funding will support prototype development, testing and equipment upgrades to help the company double its current production and create 10 skilled trades jobs in the process.

Heartbeat Hot Sauce Company grabbed $189,748 to help scale up operations and triple current production by moving into a larger shop and purchase and install equipment. Nine jobs are being created, said FedNor.

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"The purchase of a state-of-the-art laser cutting table will not only help us to better service our clients, but it will also introduce a new dimension to the metal fabrication sector throughout the region," said Nu-Tech Metals owners Robert Felbel and Glen Major in a news release.

“Expanding into the commercial hydraulic scissor lift market is a game changer for our company," said Thunder Bay Hydraulics manager Jamie Crozier. "We fully expect this expansion will allow us double our annual sales and production, helping to take our business to new heights.”

“Heartbeat Hot Sauce has become so popular that we need a bigger building, more capacity, larger workforce, and upgraded production processes to keep pace with demand," said Heartbeat Hot Sauce Company owner Nancy Shaw. "We have a hot commodity on our hands and we’re thrilled that FedNor is partnering with us to make this expansion possible.” “

Thunder Bay-Rainy River has a wealth of manufacturing expertise and I’m thrilled that FedNor is lending its support to help maximize our region’s economic potential," said Powlowski in a statement.

"I had the opportunity to see first hand how Nu-Tech Metals and Thunder Bay Hydraulics are using this investment to diversify their operations and create good jobs here in northwestern Ontario. Heartbeat Hot Sauce has had amazing success as a relatively young company in our community and this investment will be put to good use as they expand their production and productivity and put their famous hot sauce and Thunder Bay on an even larger map than they already have.”