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Development corporation gets $1.5M from FedNor

Funding to support Nickel Basin Federal Development Corporation for 5 years
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Paul Reid, board chair of the Nickel Basin Federal Development Corporation, said $1.5 million in operational funding from FedNor will help the organization support Sudbury businesses over the next five years. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.

The Nickel Basin Federal Development Corporation will be able to support small and medium-sized businesses in Greater Sudbury for the next five years thanks support from FedNor.

Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre announced the development organization would receive $1.5 million to cover its operational expenses during that period.

Since it was established in 2000, the Nickel Basin Federal Development Corporation has approved more than 500 loans, totaling more than $40 million to provide small businesses with the capital they need to expand.

“We have a fairly high success rate,” said Paul Reid, the development corporation's board chair. 

Since it launched, Reid said the Nickel Basin Federal Development Corporation has helped create more than 3,300 full-time jobs in Greater Sudbury. 

Kirk Petroski, the president and CEO of mining technology firm Symboticware, said his company benefited directly from one such loan in 2014.

That loan allowed him to hire around four more staff members and attract new customers. 

“They're the lifeline for a lot of these organizations,” Petroski said about the Nickel Basin Federal Development Corporation.

Thanks in part to that financial support, Symboticware will expand to a new office space at NORCAT's headquarters on Maley Drive on June 1, that is around three times larger than its current office in Sudbury's downtown.

Because they rely on federal funding to provide loans to businesses, the Nickel Basin Federal Development Corporation can afford to be less risk-averse than banks, Petroski said. 

But companies must still follow a rigorous process, and prove they have their financial house in order, to be approved for a loan.

The development corporation has a current portfolio valued at $9 million.