MPP Clark shows one of the RED-funded wayfinding signs with Front of Yonge Councillor Marg Fancy and Mayor Roger Haley.
PROJECTS IN GANANOQUE, LEEDS AND THE THOUSAND ISLANDS,
FRONT OF YONGE AMONG FIRST SUPPORTED UNDER REVAMPED PROGRAM
Gananoque – The Town of Gananoque and Townships of Leeds and the Thousand Islands and Front of Yonge will share in the $3.3 million the Ontario government is committing to fund 58 projects through the updated Rural Economic Development Program (RED).
The funding, designed to help rural and Indigenous communities diversify their economies, retain skilled workers, invest in local infrastructure and create jobs, was announced today by Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark. He was joined by Gananoque Mayor Ted Lojko, Leeds and the Thousand Islands Mayor Corinna Smith-Gatcke and Front of Yonge Mayor Roger Haley.
“More than ever, our local communities need assistance to attract new investments to create and retain employment as our economy reopens,” said MPP Clark. “The projects we’re announcing today are another way our government is supporting existing businesses and creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs to flourish in our rural communities.”
Gananoque and Leeds and the Thousand Islands will receive $105,000 to hire a project coordinator to support local small businesses through promotional activities, workshops, social media and shop local campaigns.
MPP Clark, centre, with Laura Godard, RED project coordinator for Gananoque and TLTI; Gananoque Mayor Ted Lojko; Kim Goodman, TLTI’s director of community and business services; and TLTI Mayor Corinna Smith-Gatcke.
Front of Yonge received $5,251 to install new wayfinding signs within the Village of Mallorytown to direct visitors to local attractions.
“The project is designed to increase economic competitiveness through collaboration, promoting growth and expansion, and the creation and retention of jobs in Gananoque and TLTI. This project comes at a crucial time for our communities, as businesses continue to navigate through COVID-19. The partnership that we have created between Gananoque and TLTI is a critical component for the on-going support of our local businesses at a time when support is needed most,” said Mayor Lojko.
“We cannot be more pleased with the announcement of critical funding that will help our existing businesses and new businesses adapt and grow in this new and challenging environment,” said Mayor Smith-Gatcke. “We know businesses need this help and expertise to modify their plans to succeed. Doing this in partnership with the Town of Gananoque, shows everyone that we are committed to working together to help our businesses who depend on us.”
“Front of Yonge’s Community Development Committee recommended the new signage to Council as another step to show visitors and businesses alike that we are a welcoming community. We appreciate the support from the province,” said Mayor Haley.
“Supporting local jobs and removing barriers to investment and economic growth in rural communities is more important than ever,” said Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman. “As the economy reopens, our investments in the Rural Economic Development program will have a very real impact for communities across rural Ontario.”
The local initiatives are among 58 successful projects receiving funding from the first intake of the updated RED program. Project applications to the program were subjected to a streamlined process starting last year to reduce the burden for applicants.
Supporting renewal, growth and economic recovery in rural and Indigenous communities is part of the government’s plan to get every region of Ontario back on track so they can create jobs, opportunity and prosperity for everyone, said Clark.
- Municipalities, not-for-profit entities, Ontario Indigenous communities / organizations or local services boards are eligible for the Rural Economic Development program and costs are shared based on which of the two streams under which the project falls.
- The RED program offers two project streams:
- Economic Diversification and Competitiveness: Projects that remove barriers to business and job growth, attract investment, attract or retain a skilled workforce, strengthen sector and regional partnerships and diversify regional economies.
- Strategic Economic Infrastructure: Minor capital projects that advance economic development and investment opportunities.
- Under the Economic Diversification and Competitiveness Stream, the province will contribute up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $150,000, while Ontario can invest up to 30 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $250,000 under the Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream.