The numbers for what the year looked like for the Haliburton County Development Corporation were discussed at the organization’s annual general meeting at Red Umbrella Inn on Oct.10.
In 2019 60 loans were approved for local businesses affecting 350 jobs.
“We continue to support community economic development initiatives the growth of new and existing businesses and the creation of sustainable jobs in Haliburton County” said Peter Fredricks board chair in his message also acknowledging the organization’s 34th anniversary.
According to Patti Tallman executive director HCDC remains one of the most active lenders of the 61 Community Futures Development Corporations throughout Ontario investing almost $4.7 million through loans to businesses over the past year. Additionally of all 268 Community Futures Development Corporations in Canada HCDC continues to hold the largest loan portfolio valued at more than $17 million in the country.
“Our combined support through loans the Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP) and the Local Initiatives Program (LIP) has enhanced our community’s capacity to change impacting 228 jobs this year” she wrote in her annual message. “As of March 31 2019 we saw the end of EODP which ran for the past 15 years. Over the life of the program we injected over $9 million and leveraged an additional $13 million into businesses and organizations. This support and impact in itself is a success story.”
Fredricks said EODP has been replaced with the Rural Innovation Initiative Eastern Ontario funded by FedDev.
“The local stream provides non-repayable contributions from $25000 up to $100000” he said in his message. “Its purpose is to support and transition [small and medium-sized enterprises] in local CFDC communities to expand and adopt new advanced business innovation processes.”
For the past few years Haliburton LaunchPad the HCDC business incubator offering space created by HCDC in 2010 has focused on digital media growing businesses and creating jobs in that sector with Haliburton Guitar Studio The Amazing Agency Sticks & Stones Productions SPARC Network and the Arts Council ~ Haliburton Highlands calling the building at 710 Mountain Street home over the past year.
In addition to last July adding “hot-desks” available for a monthly fee “venture desks” which are booked on a quarterly basis are available to entrepreneurs wanting to work outside of the home alongside others or access the onsite high-speed internet in a communal creative space. According to the 2018-2019 HCDC annual report businesses in the incubator provided six full-time jobs three part-time contract positions and one seasonal job.
John Gillis interim president and CEO of Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas was the guest speaker while Autumn Wilson HCDC program and operations coordinator spoke about local business Cottage Care Rentals as a success story.
Margaret Risk a member since 2010 and Linda Middleton a member since 2011 were celebrated as retiring directors and presented with plaques from FedDev..
-Sue Tiffin Staff