The $18.9-million investment provided by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev) aims to provide the resources necessary for exporting and export-ready manufacturers to assess and undertake a variety of productivity improvement projects. The funding, which was a priority of CME during the previous budget, will be distributed through the association's new SMART Prosperity Now program.
"Two of the largest challenges that companies will face in 2012 are finding new customers and enhancing productivity performance," explains Ian Howcroft, vice-president, CME Ontario. "This initiative will allow manufacturers to commercialize new technologies, invest in equipment, increase efficiency and ultimately boost their global competitiveness."
Productivity assessments will be eligible to receive funding up to 50 percent of costs to a maximum $5,000, while productivity improvement projects may qualify to receive 33 percent of costs to a maximum $75,000.
To help businesses navigate this initiative, CME will be hosting a series of workshops throughout the region in the coming months.
"We commend the government for their renewed commitment to strengthening the manufacturing sector and providing support for Ontario's job creators," says Howcroft. "Amidst a myriad of economic challenges, it is important we provide the leadership and the tools to make a difference."
CME expects to begin accepting applications in early February.
For more information, visit www.cme-mec.ca.