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Community Futures Pan West Network Inc. is expanding support to small businesses in rural western Canadian communities

Press Release

From: Western Economic Diversification Canada

Rural Opportunities Fund to help create jobs in smaller communities

February 13, 2020 – Brandon, Manitoba – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Community Futures organizations play an instrumental role creating jobs in many small towns, taking a grassroots approach to economic development. Community Futures Pan West Network Inc., a joint initiative of the four western provincial Community Futures associations, supports 90 local organizations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba to help bolster business development services in rural areas.

We’ve got your back by helping communities grow and prosper

Today, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada) was in Brandon to announce that the Government of Canada will help Community Futures Pan West Network Inc. establish a Rural Opportunities Fund, supported by $4.8 million in federal funding.

This Rural Opportunities Fund will further support community economic development projects and business retention initiatives, including those for Indigenous Peoples, women, and youth in rural and remote communities. Through the Rural Opportunities Fund, Community Futures Pan West Network Inc. will support community resiliency projects and business retention initiatives, such as encouraging population growth or helping succession planning for small business owners. The Rural Opportunities Fund will be available to Community Futures organizations across Western Canada.

Over three years, it is expected that the Rural Opportunities Fund will assist 90 entrepreneurs, support 75 western Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses transition ownership, and engage 25 partners in 20 community-based projects.

Quotes

“When it comes to creating jobs outside of major centres, Community Futures organizations are simply indispensable. This investment in Community Futures Pan West Network Inc. will open up new opportunities, keep communities strong, and ensure all Canadians can benefit from our growing economy.”

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“This investment in Community Futures Pan West Network Inc. will open up new opportunities, keep communities strong, and ensure all Canadians can benefit from our growing economy.” – Minister Joly

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“The Government of Canada is pleased to support the Community Futures Pan West Network Inc. and the Rural Opportunities Fund. This Fund will drive community-based innovation and economic development in rural communities across Western Canada that will create quality jobs for Canadians.”

– Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada)

“This Fund will drive community-based innovation and economic development in rural communities across Western Canada that will create quality jobs for Canadians.” – Parliamentary Secretary Duguid

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“Rural communities are a vital part of this country and crucial to the prosperity of Canada as a whole. I am pleased that the Government of Canada is supporting the work of Community Futures Pan West Network Inc. in developing this new fund, which will have a big impact on the lives of residents of Western Canada’s rural communities. By working together, supporting local initiatives and investing in community development programs like these, we will help rural communities unlock opportunities and thrive over the long term.”

– The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

“We’re thrilled that Western Economic Diversification Canada has recognized the need for a continued focus on building community resiliency through community economic development projects. The funding will allow us to continue strengthening rural communities across the West”

– Jim MacMillan, Chair, Community Futures Pan West Network Inc.

Quick facts

This funding is delivered through Western Economic Diversification Canada. This announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.

Associated links

Contacts

Nathalie Leroux
Director, Policy, Planning and External Relations
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Winnipeg, Manitoba
204-984-8472
[email protected]

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