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Innovation, Business and Rural Development
April 2, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development:

Awards Acknowledge the Importance of Local Exporters and Innovators

Mr. Speaker, throughout Newfoundland and Labrador small and medium-sized enterprises are becoming increasingly more innovative. This is leading to new economic and business opportunities at home and abroad.

Expansion into new markets is critical to the success and future growth of any business. This growth is not only benefiting the companies themselves but the communities in which they operate and the province as a whole.

Export-related activities are important generators of wealth and prosperity and contribute to the social and economic development of Newfoundland and Labrador. They create jobs, stronger companies and stronger communities. In terms of direct and indirect employment alone, export activities create one-in-four jobs.

The strength of the local business community is a result of strong partnerships combined with the Provincial Government’s strategic programs and services. This has created a business-friendly environment where enterprises can succeed and develop their export markets.

We, as a government, want to celebrate those successes and the entrepreneurs who live in our towns and communities.

Recently, at St. Francis School in Harbour Grace I had the opportunity to meet the next generation of innovators and business leaders. While speaking with these young minds I launched a call for applications for the 2012 Export and Innovation Awards.

These awards recognize individuals, businesses, groups and institutions that have excelled in the areas of innovation and exporting.

Applications are open for three awards – Innovation in Business, Distinction in Innovation, and Exporter of the Year. They will be reviewed by a panel of judges and announced at a ceremony on May 25 at the Delta Hotel and Conference Centre in St. John’s.

Previous winners represent a diverse range of industries such as Hi-Point Industries in Bishop’s Falls and Dynamic Air Shelters in Grand Bank.

I encourage all businesses to submit an application. I also call upon all members of this Honourable House to submit an application for a successful business in their district. The deadline for applications is Friday, May 4, 2012.

2012 04 02             1:40 p.m.

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