Ontario supports a surge of more than $14 million in Eastern Ontario economy with $1 million Regional Development Program investment
February 01, 2022
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 government launched the Regional Development Program for Eastern and Southwestern Ontario in November 2019. Businesses and municipalities can get financial support through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) and Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) and guided access to a range of complementary services and supports.
- The government recently launched the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness (AMIC) stream of the Regional Development Program to help support Ontario advanced manufacturers to invest in the equipment, advanced technologies and skilled workforce needed to improve competitiveness, growth, and create, retain and bring jobs back to every region of the province.
- The government is providing 21 days of electricity rate relief to support families and workers spending more time at home, as well as small businesses. To help Ontarians get through this difficult time, electricity rates have been lowered to the lowest price, the off-peak rate of 8.2 cents, 24 hours a day. Ratepayers don’t need to do anything: this change will happen automatically for any Ontarian who is currently paying regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board and gets a bill from a utility, whether they are a Time-of-Use customer or a Tiered Rate customer. This change will help reduce costs for all residential, small business and farm customers as Ontarians spend some more time at home.