Innovation Initiatives Ontario North (IION) has received $460,000 in federal funding to assist small businesses to innovate, and grow and create jobs.
The funds will go toward Phase 3 of the regional innovation centre’s Step Forward Entrepreneurs Program (SFEP). Under the program, qualifying can receive up to $10,000 to enhance and expand their operations, commercialize new products, conduct market research, and capitalize on export opportunities.
"I am thrilled that today's announcement will help us keep technology and innovation at the forefront as organizations and entrepreneurs look to establish, modernize and expand their operations in Northeastern Ontario,” said Rob Deline, IION’s executive director, in a news release.
“The funding announced today is a strong show of support for our organization and the work we do to advance the adoption and acceleration of innovation and technology throughout our service area."
Since its inception in September 2012, the program has provided direct support to more than 100 businesses in the Nipissing-Timiskaming and Parry Sound-Muskoka regions, helping to create or maintain more than 90 jobs.
The initiative has also helped create six new businesses and assisted an additional 25 firms in their efforts to expand or modernize their operations.
Innovation Initiatives Ontario North is a not-for-profit organization that provides business advisory services, strategic planning advice, and helps businesses and communities to secure the resources required to foster growth and economic development in Northeastern Ontario.
IION’s region stretches north to Temiskaming Shores, south to Muskoka, west to West Nipissing, and east to the Quebec border — an area measuring roughly 42,000 square kilometres.