A record number of recipients of the Bourses d’initiatives en entrepreneuriat collectif (BIEC) de la Montérégie were unveiled during a gala held at the Pôle culturel du Chambly on May 9.
Nearly $370,000 in funding was awarded as part of the program, now in its fourth year, which aims to ensure the sustainability of the region’s social economy businesses and to raise their profiles. A total of 40 organizations received funding for a diversity of initiatives, including six from the Haut-Saint-Laurent, Beauharnois-Salaberry, and Jardins-de-Napierville.
In the Haut-Saint-Laurent, the Little Green Library was awarded $7,500 to help create a new space for young readers at the library, specifically designed with children between the ages of 6 to 10 in mind as well as teenage readers.
The Chateauguay Valley Community Information Services (CVCIS), which publishes The Gleaner, received $7,926 for a project aimed at modernizing and expanding the way information is provided through its networks. To help mark the 160th anniversary of The Gleaner, the project involves the creation of a series of podcasts featuring stories of the Chateauguay Valley.
The Saint-Rémi-based organization, Apprendre en Coeur, will be provided with $7,500 to help promote its summer camp through the production of video clips for parents and partners that demonstrate the quality of its language stimulation programs aimed at young children.
Sourire sans fin, a family support centre in Saint-Rémi, will also receive $7,500 for the creation of a communication plan to promote their Friperie Éco 100% Locale. The plan will aim to answer common questions while debunking some of the myths surrounding second-hand or thrift stores.
The Complices Alimentaires received $2,593 to create a website. The organization was also awarded $20,000 to build a refrigerated food-sharing hub in the Jardins-de-Napierville region to better support the retail component of their project. This will allow the organization to reduce its costs while ensuring its vending-machine-style freezers are easily restocked with locally grown fruits and vegetables that would otherwise have gone to waste.
Finally, the Maison de la Jeunesse 12-17 de Valleyfield, in the Beauharnois-Salaberry region, was awarded $20,000 for its Cheval de fer project, which aims to create an adapted educational environment featuring a bike-mechanics workspace for vulnerable or disengaged youth in the Valleyfield region.
During the gala, the Minister responsible for the Montérégie region, Suzanne Roy, noted that “It is not only the region’s social economy that will benefit from the positive impacts of these initiatives, but the entire community.”
The BIEC Montérégie program has been renewed until 2024. The program, which is coordinated by the three Pôles d’Économie Sociale in the Montérégie, depends on the financial participation and support of several partners, including the Ministère des Affaires Municipales et de l’Habitation (MAMH); the 12 MRCs in the Montérégie; the agglomeration of Longueuil; Montérégie Économique; and the Table de concertation régionale de la Montérégie.