BDC boosts Atlantic Canadian Entrepreneurs



The Business Development Bank of Canada is loosening the purse strings to make an extra $100 million in financing available for Atlantic Canadian businesses in four industry sectors during the next two years.

In a bid to boost the information and communication technology, agri-food, ocean technology and tourism sectors, the Crown corporation responsible for helping Canadian businesses is upping its financing envelope for the next two years for those industries to $280 million.

“These sectors are areas that we feel have the greatest opportunity for growth,” Michael Denham, the BDC’s president and chief executive officer, said in an interview Thursday.

“What we’re looking for are entrepreneurs who have solid businesses in place and who are looking for financing for equipment, marketing or to expand their sales force,” he said.

Atlantic Canadian business owners are bullish these days. According to BDC surveys, 75 per cent of Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs have indicated they expect to grow their revenues this year, up from only 42 per cent who said the same thing in 2016

That’s a higher level of business confidence than in the rest of Canada.

And it’s an optimism shared by Great Village-based Ocean Sonics owners Desirée Stockermans and Mark Wood.

Their five-year-old company, which developed a digital hydrophone that allows users to listen to underwater sounds in real time from the surface, have seen explosive growth. Digital hydrophones are used along coastlines to measure ocean sounds, including marine life and human activity like shipping, commercial and military activities which contribute to noise pollution.

In its first year of operation, Ocean Sonics doubled its sales volume. The following year, sales soared about another 50 per cent. And since then the company’s revenues have roughly doubled again, said Stockermans, the company’s operations manager, in an interview Thursday. Read more…


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