Small business owners and entrepreneurs now have access to an additional source of substantial funding for start-up, expansion, or acquisition projects in the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent.
The Fédération québécoise des municipalités (FQM) and Fonds locaux de solidarité FTQ announced the launch of a $900,000 fund to support local businesses in partnership with the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent during a joint press conference in Huntingdon on September 25.
“We want to help young entrepreneurs financially, but above all point them in the right direction. Often, when a young entrepreneur is starting out, he or she doesn’t know which door to knock on to get help,” said Christopher Skeete, the Quebec minister for the Economy and minister responsible for the fight against racism and the Laval region, while confirming the creation of the Fonds local de solidarité (FLS) fund in the Haut-Saint-Laurent.
“Our government relies on the strength of the regions to support the vitality of our economy,” added Skeete, while suggesting the establishment of the FLS demonstrates the government’s willingness to work with partners to provide SMEs [small to medium enterprises] with effective development levers that meet their needs while taking regional realities into account.
“The government believes in small entrepreneurs, and we believe in the MRCs,” he added, noting the funding opportunities now available in the Haut-Saint-Laurent will help to solidify a supportive ecosystem for small business development in the region.
Over the past 30 years, the FLS network, which now includes 97 funds across the province, has financed nearly 6,000 business projects. The creation of the Haut-Saint-Laurent FLS was made possible by a variable investment credit of $750,000 through the Fonds locaux de solidarité FTQ, as well as a $100,000 contribution from the FQM and a $50,000 investment by the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent.
“We believe that resilient, prosperous businesses are the key to a dynamic region, and the MRC is proud to play a role in their success. By simplifying access to financing and offering favourable terms, we are supporting the development of our local businesses, while stimulating the economic vitality of our region,” said Louise Lebrun, the prefect for the MRC.
“The region is brimming with innovative businesses with high growth potential,” said Huntingdon MNA Carole Mallette, while noting the creation of the FLS sends a positive message to area entrepreneurs.
The maximum investment a company can receive from the FLS is $100,000; however, this financing may be combined with other funds offered presently by the MRC.
Joint investment policy
A joint investment policy at the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, which came into effect on August 16, aims to simplify and optimize access to both the FLS and the Fonds local d’investissement (FLI). Both funds can be used to support start-up businesses, expansion, or improvement plans, as well as acquisition or succession projects in the Haut-Saint-Laurent region.
Entrepreneurs may now access these low-interest loans through a single contract, which could reach up to $100,000 per year through the FLS and up to $150,000 per year through the FLI, for a total of $250,000 per business.
For more information on funding opportunities with the MRC, contact Réjean Lampron, the regional development coordinator, at 450 264-5411, ext. 227.