FedNor invests more than $1.4 million to accelerate growth and enhance manufacturing in North Bay

News release

Investments to create local jobs through technology development, increased productivity and manufacturing process optimization

April 5, 2022 – North Bay, ON – Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario – FedNor

Innovation and technology adoption are key to driving our economy forward as we recover from the impact of COVID-19. In Northern Ontario, through FedNor, the Government of Canada is investing to encourage innovation and the adoption of technology, while helping business to start up, scale up and create local jobs and opportunities for Canadians.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, today announced FedNor investments totaling $1,416,298 for two projects designed to fuel innovation and optimize business productivity. Funded through FedNor’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Fund (REGI), these strategic initiatives are expected to create up to 19 local jobs in the short term, with the potential to create an additional 340 over the next five years.

As part of the announcement, North Bay start-up One Red Maple is receiving $916,298 to develop and launch an online platform to help small businesses enhance their digital presence and increase sales. Harnessing the power of the shop-local movement, the One Red Maple App will provide pop-up notifications that redirect consumers to local stores offering the same products as major online retailers. The platform uses Artificial Intelligence to identify inventory, match products or provide suggestions for similar items if an exact match can’t be found locally. The platform currently features businesses from North Bay and will soon be expanded to include companies from across Northern Ontario and Canada. Once fully implemented, this strategic initiative will help increase the competitiveness of small businesses throughout the region, while creating up to 10 jobs and potentially 340 more over the next five years.

The remaining $500,000 will help Pilot Diamond Tools Ltd. modernize its manufacturing facilities and accelerate its transformation into a smart facility. Specifically, the funding will be used to purchase specialized equipment designed to increase productivity and optimize manufacturing processes, resulting in more competitive pricing and increased revenues. The project includes implementing a new Enterprise Resource Planning system (including E-commerce), fabricating and supplying an Atmospheric Chamber Furnace, as well as the purchase and installation of a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) lathe in combination with a CNC waterjet machine. Once complete, this priority project will help pave the way for sustainable growth, while creating nine full-time jobs and maintaining 19 more.

Northern Ontario has been hard hit by COVID-19 and today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to support innovative businesses and start-ups so they can overcome the impacts of COVID-19, ramp up quickly, create jobs and fully participate in our economic recovery.

Quotes

“Strong local economies rely directly on local businesses and manufacturers. In these uncertain times, we are increasing efforts to ensure Canadian businesses have access to the resources they need to expand, create jobs and plan for the future. Today’s announcement looks to create more than 350 jobs in the next five years, while supporting two North Bay businesses as they innovate, scale up and adapt.

- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor

“Today’s announcement will help create nearly 20 local jobs by unleashing the economic potential of an innovative tech start-up and local manufacturer with high-growth potential. These projects with One Red Maple and Pilot Diamond Tools Ltd. are great examples of how technology and innovation is helping Northern Ontario entrepreneurs and firms capitalize on new opportunities, while supporting jobs, growth and a strong economy.”

- Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing–Timiskaming

“FedNor support has been instrumental in our efforts to modernize and grow our manufacturing facilities here at home in North Bay. Today’s announcement will support our transformation into a smart facility and further position Pilot Diamond Tools Ltd. as a leading manufacturer for the production of diamond products for the mining and construction industries.”

- Steve Perrin, Owner, Pilot Diamond Tools Ltd.

“We are thrilled that FedNor is helping us create an App that gives customers an easy and efficient way to shop local. Our extension and App are simple to use and bring the shop-local movement to a whole new level. One Red Maple is a catalyst for discovering local economies, creating relationships between online shoppers and their local, Northern Ontario’s/Canadian retailers.”

- Mark Sherry, President, One Red Maple

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Regional Growth Through Innovation Fund (REGI), which supports the growth of Northern Ontario businesses, their expansion into new markets and their adoption of new technologies and processes.

  • Since 2018, FedNor has provided more than $78 million in REGI funding to support 110 projects. Once complete, these projects are expected to help create and maintain more than 4,570 jobs in communities and First Nations across Northern Ontario.

Associated links

Contacts

Alison Murphy, Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor
Alison.Murphy@sac-isc.gc.ca

Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario
Media Relations

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