Martin C. Barry
The City of Laval’s economic development division will have close to half a million dollars more than its usual budget in the next three years to promote Laval on the international scene thanks to a subsidy announced by Vimy Liberal MP Eva Nassif at Laval city hall on Aug. 6.
A regional export promotion organization known as ORPEX Laval will be receiving the non-repayable contribution of $442,500. The ORPEX’s objectives include raising awareness among Quebec businesses about the growth potential associated with exporting and, subsequently, helping them diversify and break into foreign markets.
Helping grow business
The announcement was made by Nassif on behalf of Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development (CED).
According to a statement issued by Nassif’s office, ORPEXEs help businesses obtain basic exporting information; organize their activities aimed at breaking into foreign markets; receive a diagnosis regarding their export capacity; find out about funding opportunities for their export projects; get specialized training; and develop an international business plan.
The funding, provided under the Quebec Economic Development Program, will allow the ORPEX to continue offering its services aimed at helping potential exporters go ahead with their projects involving new market sales.
“I am thrilled that we are supporting the International Affairs division of the City of Laval’s Economic Development Service, which helps small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region diversify and develop export markets,” said Nassif. “The industrial fabric of Laval has the potential to become one of the most diversified: 11,200 businesses, over 1,400 of which offer exportable products and services. We have full confidence in the organization’s ability to help businesses look to the future and prosper.”
“The investment announced today is intended to provide tangible support for Laval businesses looking to break into foreign markets,” said Marc-Aurèle-Fortin Liberal MP Yves Robillard who was also on hand for the announcement.
“This contribution will ensure that the International Affairs division of the City of Laval’s Economic Development Service has the necessary means to fulfill its mission, which is to assist potential exporters in carrying out their projects involving new market sales by providing them with various services right from the outset of their export ventures.”
Businesses to benefit
“One of the broad orientations of the City of Laval’s ‘Urbaine de nature’ strategic vision is to develop a prosperous, sustainable, competitive and cutting-edge economy,” said Mayor Marc Demers. “Laval has some 11,200 businesses, over 500 of which export their products and services. Canada Economic Development’s financial support will allow Laval to continue providing export services to help businesses achieve their full growth potential and to ensure their long-term sustainability.”
Demers also pointed out that Laval, with its highly-diversified multicultural population, has many residents who have business contracts all over the globe, significantly raising the importance of import/export in the city’s priorities. He said the federal government’s contribution will be added to the investment the City of Laval already makes towards improving Laval’s economic prospects internationally.