By: Bruce Lazenby,President & CEO of Invest Ottawa
On March 10, Invest Ottawa was privileged to host the Hon. Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism. She toured our incubator, met some of the city’s most exciting startups and got a firsthand experience with some game-changing technology. During her visit, Minister Chagger announced improvements to the Canada Small Business Financing Program. Terms for real property loans are being changed to allow small businesses to access up to $1 million over fifteen years. This will reduce cash flow pressures on small businesses by not overburdening them with demanding repayment terms.
Earlier in March, the Government of Ontario announced it would be partnering with telecommunications company Huawei to add nearly 240 new research and development jobs to the province over the next two years. Huawei employs over 200 people in Ottawa and plans to spend $303 million to speed up hiring locally and throughout the province. These will be top tier jobs, critical to our local economy.
And finally, IBM and the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) recently announced a combined contribution of nearly $50 Million to the IBM Innovation Incubator, known as the I3 project. Jon Milne, our Managing Director of Innovation says, “This program is exciting because it allows Ottawa startups to build more innovation capacity leveraging IBM’s Watson. We are only scratching the surface on what capabilities and potential problems this technology can solve”. The I3 project will provide Ontario startups, like the ones at Invest Ottawa, an opportunity for business mentoring in areas like cloud, analytics, mobile, social and cognitive computing.
Our government partners are a tremendous advantage for the economic development and growth of Ottawa’s knowledge-based industries. Whether its programs that provide seed capital or building relationships with trade commissioners in foreign markets, at Invest Ottawa we can explain the many public services available to help your business thrive. Please reach out for more information, we are always happy to help.