Chamber’s AGM highlights business services still available

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Arnaud de la Salle

BRISTOL – The Pontiac Chamber of Commerce held its annual general meeting, February 24, and presented its members with information regarding a new one-stop
partnership for businesses seeking financing, as well as

Arnaud de la Salle

BRISTOL – The Pontiac Chamber of Commerce held its annual general meeting, February 24, and presented its members with information regarding a new one-stop
partnership for businesses seeking financing, as well as
certain services offered in the Pontiac by Emploi Quebec. After voting to adopt the Chamber’s new bylaws and its annual report, Mireille Alary, Chamber President, closed the meeting and introduced four guest speakers: Remi Bertrand, MRC Pontiac Director General, Rhonda Perry from the SADC, Louise Grenier, and Mishka Kucharik.   
Bertrand spoke about the transition following the
closure of the CLD and its integration into the MRC
structure. The new role of the MRC in the area’s economic development, in close collaboration with the SADC, has led to the creation of a one-stop financing partnership for
businesses where they can access a variety of financing services under one roof at the SADC building. Pending the adoption of Law 28 in June, the MRC is still unsure whether they will receive an additional $800,000 in funding from the province to add to the previous amounts of $250,000 awarded to the CLD and $500,000 specifically for agriculture. Bertrand explained the reasons for the CLDs closure; with a 55% budget reduction, it could not meet its operational expenses.  
Perry then took the floor to explain the role the SADC would play in the new one-stop financing partnership. With $5.2 million in capital, the SADC has the capacity to finance sound projects at very competitive rates. Perry also highlighted the close working relationship the SADC already has with the MRC, and that the new financing arrangement is a continuation of that relationship.
The third presentation was made by Louise Grenier, who explained the funding available for training through Action Emploi Québec. Fifty percent of the cost of training can be covered by Emploi Quebec; they also offer human resources services to help companies recruit the right employees.
The last speaker of the evening was Mishka Kucharik from the Carrefour Jeunesse Emploi Pontiac (CJEP), who described various projects that local youth have put into place. The announced budget cuts are likely to put her job at risk as well as other CJEP programs such as the young entrepreneur camp, the youth table, etc. The CJEP was given a 15 month reprieve before they find out which
services will have to be eliminated.