Canada boosts Atlantic SMEs’ clean energy shift

The government of Canada has invested C$4 million to support the clean energy transition of Atlantic Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

With this investment, the Atlantic Association of Community Business Development Corporations (AACBDC) will encourage rural entrepreneurs to adopt clean technology through the loan program that will provide businesses with capital to develop clean technology products, services and solutions and sell these at home and abroad, the government said.

Entrepreneurs will also be able to access Clean Technology Advisory Services which will allow them to hire outside professional expertise who can help them address opportunities or challenges related to their use of clean technologies.

The Atlantic Association of CBDCs estimates that 550 clean technology loans will be approved over the seven-year life span of the initiative, which is expected to leverage an additional C$26.3 million worth of clean technology investments by rural SMEs throughout Atlantic Canada.

François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, said: “Canada’s expertise in clean technology is recognized around the world and is a promising area for growth. The opportunities offered by the EU are particularly exciting for small and medium-sized clean tech enterprises who will enjoy duty-free access to the EU when the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is provisionally applied on September 21.

“Increased trade and investment with the EU will create good, well-paying jobs for the middle class and contribute to developing and strengthening the clean growth economy throughout Atlantic Canada.”

Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, said: “Our government’s investments in clean technology reflect our commitment to protect the planet, while creating new opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses in rural communities. Getting more innovative technologies, products and services to the marketplace leads to more well-paying jobs for Canadians. That’s how clean technology and innovation lead to a better Canada.”

The funding was allocated through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Business Development Program which helps Atlantic Canadian SMEs grow, become competitive and increase their productivity.