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Province Investing in Local Businesses to Boost Economic Growth in Eastern Ontario

February 1, 2022

Ontario supports a surge of more than $14 million in Eastern Ontario economy with $1 million Regional Development Program investment

February 01, 2022 – Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

BELLEVILLE — The Ontario government is supporting an investment of more than $14 million by two Belleville-area companies to help strengthen local manufacturing, create good jobs and support regional economic recovery and growth. Combined, the province is investing $1 million in the local manufacturing sector through the Regional Development Program, which will help create 37 jobs.

“The Regional Development Program continues to support manufacturers through targeted investments that allow companies to create good local jobs,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “These two projects are making a significant impact in communities and economies in the Belleville region by helping to secure the private-sector investment to create the conditions for viable economic growth and job creation. We thank Sprague Foods and Ontario Truss & Wall for contributing to our province’s dynamic and diverse manufacturing sector.”

Sprague Foods Ltd. provides shelf-stable foods to customers in Canada and the U.S. They are investing more than $5.6 million in new equipment and the construction of a new storage facility at their project facility. With Ontario’s investment of $500,000 from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, Sprague Foods will increase productivity and innovation, which will boost employment, total revenues, and sales into new markets. The project will create 14 jobs.

“This investment will help us expand production capacity, allowing us to make more food for Canadian families, right here in Canada,” said Rick Sprague, President of Sprague Foods. “Revitalizing and modernizing Canada’s food processing sector is vital not only for rural economies, but is also crucial for improving supply chain resilience and Canada’s food security.”

Ontario Truss & Wall Ltd. is a wood truss manufacturer and floor joist reseller. They are investing more than $8.4 million to expand into two new product lines, including prefabricated wall panels and floor systems that are not currently manufactured in the Quinte and Belleville area. As part of the project, the company will build a new 24,000 sq. ft. facility on current land and relocate manufacturing operations. With Ontario’s investment of $500,000 from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, the project will allow Ontario Truss & Wall to improve product accuracy and quality while improving facility output. The project will create 23 jobs, and the company will also provide significant training to both current and new team members.

“We are overly appreciative of the support received from our Ontario Government,” said Andrew Bryden, Vice President and Comptroller of Ontario Truss and Wall. “Their significant contribution has helped to create new jobs and maintain current positions. We are excited to see the continued growth initiated by this investment.”

“Provincial investments through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund are leveraging private dollars to encourage more jobs, new construction, and increased manufacturing capacity in the Quinte region,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte and Minister of Energy. “We know this creates a multiplying effect producing significant economic returns. This is vital to our communities as we recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“This is a real vote of confidence in the Quinte area economy with this pair of announcements from Sprague Foods and Ontario Truss and Wall,” said Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington. “These new jobs will mean more families can stay here and build their futures in our area and contribute to our community.”

Ontario is investing more than $100 million through the Regional Development Program from 2019 to 2023 to support distinct regional priorities and challenges. The program provides cost-shared funding to businesses, municipalities and economic development organizations to help local communities attract investment, diversify their economies, and create jobs.

The Regional Development Program is part of the government’s business supports transformation initiative, one of five key recently announced priority Smart Initiatives. These are large-scale, multi-phased projects to build smarter government and transform how the public sector delivers services and achieve better outcomes for businesses and citizens.

The new program retains many of the successful elements of the existing EODF and SWODF and includes some critical changes to support job creators. They include:

– Introducing a coordinated government-wide approach offering complementary services to support business growth.
– Shifting to performance-based loans as a smarter way to support businesses and ensure fiscal sustainability, while continuing grants for small businesses in rural communities to help them grow and expand.
– Expanding financial support to eligible municipalities, industry groups and not-for-profits for projects that could lead to long-term regional sustainability and advance local priorities.
– Simplifying applications through system improvements which will save time and resources
– Introducing a new project assessment process that takes into account regional impact and directs funding to communities that will benefit the most.

The complementary services and supports will provide businesses with coordinated access to a range of government programs and tools that can best meet their needs to succeed. These include advisory services, assistance with compliance and approvals, accessing skills and training supports, and information on tax credits.

The Regional Development Program is part of Ontario’s plan to build smarter government and protect our core programs and services. Our goal is to ensure sustainability, now and for future generations.


In the 2019 Budget, the government introduced the Open for Jobs Blueprint to help transform Ontario’s business support programs.

Business supports transformation put into action recommendations of the EY Canada Line-by-Line Review and the Planning for Prosperity consultations.

There are over 470,000 small businesses (with 1-99 employees) in Ontario, accounting for almost 98 per cent of all businesses in the province.

According to Stokes Economics, eastern and southwestern Ontario accounted for over $184 billion or more than 23 per cent of Ontario’s economy in 2018.

Since June 2018, employment in Ontario has risen by 272,400.

Open for Business

Source of Press Release: Ontario Newsroom


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