As Ontario prepares to celebrate Franco-Ontarian Day this Friday, September 25, the Ontario government is announcing a new investment of $500,000 to support Franco-Ontarian entrepreneurs and businesses.
This investment is part of the government’s priority to promote francophone economic development in the province and builds on extended consultations held with the Franco-Ontarian business community since 2018.
$250,000 will support the creation of a new online platform ― the Francophone Business Network ― that will help businesses share their expertise and best practices and form new strategic partnerships. The remaining $250,000 will fund a campaign focused on promoting Franco-Ontarians products and services.
“As the province continues down the path of renewal, growth and economic recovery, these two initiatives will provide timely support to Ontario’s Francophone entrepreneurs and small and medium-size businesses while we continue to strengthen the Francophone business community,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Francophone Affairs. “This investment will ensure that Franco-Ontarians can continue to access the goods and services they need and overcome the challenges businesses in the community are facing because of COVID-19.”
By bringing together key players of the Franco-Ontarian business community and showcasing their products and services, these two initiatives will help empower francophone businesses across the province.
The Francophone Business Network will connect entrepreneurs and businesses with the goal to create or expand their product lines, services and markets, and to increase their visibility. To set up the Network, the government will issue today a call for proposals targeting francophone organizations known for their expertise and reach out to the francophone business sector in Ontario.
Slated for winter 2021, the promotional campaign will be designed to showcase Franco-Ontarian businesses and encourage Ontarians to buy local products and services.
“This concrete action by the government responds to the needs clearly expressed during the Minister’s consultations,” said Glenn O’Farrell, Special Advisor on Economic Development to the Minister of Francophone Affairs. “Ontario’s Francophone entrepreneurs and business sector will certainly benefit from these two complementary initiatives which will help strengthen the economic advantage that is Ontario’s Francophonie”.
Ontario is also investing $1 million for Francophone economic and community development through the Francophone Community Grants Program in 2020-21. Recipients for this year’s edition will be announced in October 2020.