Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope said Thursday’s announcement of $2.6 million in provincial funding for five local firms demonstrates two things; that manufacturing in Chatham-Kent is alive and well and that different levels of government can play different roles in supporting business.
Steven Del Duca, Minister of Economic Development and Growth, announced funding through the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund for Dana Canada, and The Barry Callebaut Group in Chatham, Aarkel Tool and Die and Rulmeca Canada in Wallaceburg and Waltron Trailers in Blenheim.
The grants help fund projects worth more than $26 million and are expected to create 70 jobs and retain more than 330 others in Chatham-Kent.
“We’ve heard for years that manufacturing was dying and that we couldn’t be competitive,” Hope said in a press release.
“The truth was that manufacturing was changing, it never disappeared and now it’s making a comeback.”
Hope said senior levels of government have the financial capability to assist viable businesses and industries while at the municipal level, the responsibility lies with creating streamlined procedures for development and assisting wherever possible in matching workforces to needs.
Chatham-Kent’s Acting Economic Development Services Director Stuart McFadden said keeping firms up to date on provincial and federal programs is a key part of the municipality’s business retention and expansion strategy.
“Our staff meets with local businesses and industries on an ongoing basis to ensure they are up-to-date with what is available to assist them. It’s a very competitive landscape and helping businesses access funds to offset required capital investment is key” he said.
For more details, here is our original story: Ontario invests in Wallaceburg & Chatham-Kent businesses