Government of Canada investment will help Atlantic rural businesses transition to low-carbon economy

News Release

Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) will offer clean technology loans and expertise to small businesses


August 16, 2017 – Beaubassin East, NB – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Atlantic Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be better equipped to transition to a low-carbon economy as a result of a $4 million investment by the Government of Canada. This investment will enable businesses to develop clean growth capacity that will lead to well-paying middle-class jobs, new business opportunities for rural entrepreneurs, and will result in less pollution and healthier communities.

The announcement was made today by the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

With this investment, the Atlantic Association of Community Business Development Corporations (AACBDC) will encourage rural entrepreneurs to adopt clean technology. A new loan program will provide businesses with capital to develop clean technology products, services and solutions and sell these at home and abroad. Entrepreneurs will also be able to access Clean Technology Advisory Services which will allow them to hire outside professional expertise who can help them address opportunities or challenges related to their use of clean technologies.

This funding is allocated through ACOA’s Business Development Program which helps Atlantic Canadian SMEs grow, become competitive and increase their productivity.

Investments in clean technology are part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create growing, innovative businesses with global reach, to strengthen regional economies, and lead to good jobs for all Canadians. This investment also builds on the Atlantic Growth Strategy.


“Our government’s investments in clean technology reflect our commitment to protect the planet, while creating new opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses in rural communities. Getting more innovative technologies, products and services to the marketplace leads to more well-paying jobs for Canadians. That’s how clean technology and innovation lead to a better Canada.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Canada’s expertise in clean technology is recognized around the world and is a promising area for growth. The opportunities offered by the EU are particularly exciting for small and medium-sized clean tech enterprises who will enjoy duty-free access to the EU when the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is provisionally applied on September 21. Increased trade and investment with the EU will create good, well-paying jobs for the middle class and contribute to developing and strengthening the clean growth economy throughout Atlantic Canada.”

  • The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

“Clean technologies are an important component of our government’s approach to promoting sustainable economic growth across our country, and right here in Atlantic Canada. We are proud to be laying the foundation for economic growth in this region.”

  • The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian coast Guard, and Member of Parliament for Beauséjour

“The world is seeking more sustainable sources of energy, more efficient and environmentally friendly products, and new technologies to improve the quality of air and water. Canadian companies big and small can lead the way and capture their share of the market.”

  • The Honourable James Carr, Minister of Natural Resources

“We are extremely pleased to be able to support Atlantic Canadian businesses with the addition of the new Clean Technology Initiative. This initiative will provide flexible financing and advisory services to new and existing entrepreneurs in support of advancing clean technology in rural communities throughout the Atlantic region.”

  • Stan Reid, President, Atlantic Association of Community Business Development Corporations

Quick Facts

  • The Atlantic Association of CBDCs estimates that 550 clean technology loans will be approved over the seven year life span of this initiative, which will leverage an additional $26.3 million worth of clean technology investments by rural SMEs throughout Atlantic Canada.

  • Clean technologies are an important component of the Government of Canada’s approach to promoting sustainable economic growth and play a critical role in Canada’s transformation to a low-carbon economy.

  • For over 40 years, CBDCs in Atlantic Canada have been dedicated and committed to helping support and sustain the economy of rural communities throughout the region. They assist in the creation, expansion and modernization of small businesses by providing financial and technical services to entrepreneurs in rural regions.

  • The EU is the world’s third-largest importer clean-tech products, with imports totaling $148 billion in 2016.

Associated Links


Robert Bourgeois
Media Relations
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
(506) 851-6773

Basil Ryan, MBA
Chief Operating Officer
Atlantic Association of CBDCs
(902) 747-2232

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