Budget creates opportunities for business: Corner Brook Board of Trade president

Cory Hurley
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Matthew Connolly

The Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade lobbied in pre-budget consultations for investment in entrepreneurship and small business, so Thursday was a pleasant day for its president.

Budget 2014 has more than $210 million in economic development initiatives, including two Venture Capital Funds to provide support and expand opportunities for innovative start-up businesses.

“When people are starting business, you don’t have a lot of funds,” Matthew Connolly said. “You may have the best idea in the world, but it takes money to get going.

“The fact there is going to be some funds available, this will get them off the ground without that big debt load on their back.”

The provincial government will establish two Venture Capital Funds with $10 million to support Build Ventures, and a commitment to establish a Venture Newfoundland and Labrador fund with venture capital stakeholders.

Few details were released on the the Venture Newfoundland and Labrador fund, except to say it will be used to help provincially-based technology companies and start-ups. Also, it will be created in partnership with Growthworks Atlantic, the Newfoundland and Labrador Angel Network and other, unnamed investors.

Details on the Venture Newfoundland and Labrador fund “will be announced in the near future,” according to the government documents.

Innovation, Business and Rural Development Minister Terry French said the announced $10 million in spending into Build Ventures will be spread over five to seven years.

“The $10 million is not a $10 million cheque today,” he said. “The first portion I think is $2.9 million.”

He said venture capital successes can be big, with a small collection able to spur whole new business sectors. Budget 2014 also includes $72 million for tax credits and incentives for businesses, and about $45.5 million to support business development and stimulate growth.

The Corner Brook Board of Trade has been preaching the need to diversify the local economy, and Connolly believes this budget will help do that.

Government is making investments of more than $1 billion to diversify local economies and strengthen the business climate.

With $500,000 earmarked to study safe radiation services delivery in western Newfoundland, Connolly is optimistic that is a response to the local lobby for that particular cancer treatment unit to be included in the new hospital.

“We do have a concern here,” he said. “I am a cancer survivor, and I know the value of having that equipment here for people. By all means, get that in here, we could really use it.”

Twitter: WS_CoryHurley

With files from The Telegram

Organizations: Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade, Venture Newfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundland and Labrador Angel Network

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Crazy
    March 31, 2014 - 10:42

    Don't you worry, Corner Brook Frank Coleman , will be creating jobs coming left and right, No more exporting of our young people to main land, all thank to Frank Coleman, Oh thank you kind Sir. For leadership abilities. LOL..

  • Charles
    March 29, 2014 - 08:47

    I have to say, we have 48 MHA's. If we put all's of them in a bag, give a good shaking, we still wouldn't come out with enough ( BRAIN CELLS ) to change a tire on a wheel barrel. This is one of our problem, unqualified people, who haven't got a clue about anything. just double talk. If we only had one member of Government who knew their left hand from their right, How better of we would be. Our province is a gold mine, Any and all resource , plus benefits should be for our people. But no we elects people to take our resource and give them away. to out siders. Has for Mr Pender saying corner brook isn't dying, Sir your full of (MALARKEY )

    • a business man
      May 10, 2014 - 11:01

      Brilliant post! I will add that part of the reason why govenments fail to attract the most qualified people is because the pay is so low. Take me for example. I went to the Canada's top law school and second best business school I am highly educated and have lots of business and legal experience. I have considered entering politics, and I have been asked to by others. However, my skills and education allows me to make sooo much more money in the private sector than I would as MHA, so I have decided to NOT be a part of government. Frankly, it is like anything in life. You pay for what you get. If government were to double the pay of a MHA, it still would not be enough for me or many of my colleagues. As a result, government is formed based on a subset of the population - form of those who are willing to work for the seemingly generous pay. That is the problem people....the pay is not sufficiently attractive to draw in the best of the best. So, you get what you get. Secondly, I believe that all of Newfoundland`s resources should be used to benefit Canada as a whole, and this many mean that Newfoundland sees no benefit at all. That is my wish as a newfoundland born taxpayer and voter. Most of my business interests are in Ontario, so I would be happy if all of Newfoundland`s resources were used for the benefit of Ontario. As a newfoundland voter, Newfoundland`s interests and well-being means little to me. And I cast my vote accordingly. And I have been getting the government that I wanted. Therefore, everything is perfect as far as I am concerned.

  • Paul
    March 28, 2014 - 09:07

    Hello. 500,000 to study safe radiation services. Give us a break. How long will this go on? The building is about to be started. Progressive Conservative tactics. Give them an expensive study. BS. I am so sick of this government.