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Fund$ Info Fair being held in Summerside

Velma Robichaud, client information officer with the Wellington Rural Action Centre, and Raymond J. Arsenault, co-ordinator of the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of P.E.I., are busily organizing the “Fund$ Info Fair” for French-speaking entrepreneurs and employers Wednesday, April 25, in Summerside.
Velma Robichaud, client information officer with the Wellington Rural Action Centre, and Raymond J. Arsenault, co-ordinator of the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of P.E.I., are busily organizing the “Fund$ Info Fair” for French-speaking entrepreneurs and employers Wednesday, April 25, in Summerside. - Submitted

A Fund$ Info Fair is being organized for French-speaking entrepreneurs and employers for Wednesday, April 25 at the Centre Belle-Alliance in Summerside.

They’ll be there to learn more about various funding sources and grants available for the development or expansion of businesses or for the hiring of employees.

The fair, which goes 8:30 a.m. to noon, is free of charge.

“The main thing that most of our entrepreneurial clients ask us about is funding sources to implement their business project,’’ said Velma Robichaud, client information officer with the Wellington Rural Action Centre.

Raymond J. Arsenault, co-ordinator of the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of P.E.I., said the primary focus of the chamber’s events this year is finances since members often ask for information on this topic.

“That’s why we’re partnering with the Rural Action Centre to organize this important event,’’ he said.

The morning will be divided into two parts.

First, a variety of federal and provincial government departments, agencies and organizations will give PowerPoint presentations last 15-20 minutes each on their support programs for businesses. They’ll cover such facets as amounts available, program criteria and submission dates for projects. This portion of the day will focus on funds available, for example, for research, market studies, planning, development, implementation, expansion and promotion of businesses as well as the purchase of equipment.

Presenters will also provide information about entrepreneurial competitions, such as Innovation P.E.I.’s Ignition Contest and RDEE P.E.I.’s Dragons’ Contest, that offer cash prizes to help entrepreneurs set up a business.

Among the presenters in this first portion will be the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Business Canada, Innovation P.E.I., the P.E.I. Department of Rural and Regional Development and CBCD Central P.E.I.

During the second portion of the morning, presenters will speak specifically about funding programs to help with the hiring of permanent or temporary workers and interns, such as those from Canada Summer Jobs, Skills P.E.I., Career Objective P.E.I., PERCE and LIENS Work Experience. The popular Self Employ P.E.I. program, which allows people to continue receiving employment insurance benefits for a year as they set up a business, will also be explained.

Following the presentations, participants will get the opportunity to meet the presenters individually to briefly discuss their entrepreneurial ideas and to set up official appointments.
“The offices of many of the government officials are located in Charlottetown and Summerside but they can occasionally come to our Wellington Rural Action Centre to meet with clients,’’ said Robichaud.

Pamphlets on various programs will also be available on an information table at the fair.
There is no registration fee for the fair but those who would like to attend must sign up by Monday, April 23 by contacting Robichaud at 902-854-3439, ext. 228 or at velma@rdeeipe.org.

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