March 30, 2006
The Right Choices: NL �
The Place to Do Business
Newfoundland and Labrador is quickly gaining a reputation as a province on the move, as there continues to be growing economic momentum and a renewed optimism for the future. To build on this, the Williams government is putting the necessary supports in place to create an environment that fosters business growth and sends a message that Newfoundland and Labrador is the place to do business. Premier Danny Williams announced today that government is committing more than $60 million to support business and industry development activities.
"Modernizing infrastructure, demonstrating our competitive advantage and supporting business development are ways this administration is establishing Newfoundland and Labrador as an ideal location in which to conduct business," said Premier Danny Williams, who is also Minister of Business. "In a globally-competitive environment, it is critical that we give local businesses the tools to succeed, while at the same time promoting Newfoundland and Labrador to outside investors. Introducing new businesses and industries to our province, while enhancing and strengthening existing businesses, translate into an infusion of new ideas, greater prospects and increased economic possibilities."
Cutting Red Tape
Support for Business
The department�s Regional/Sectoral Diversification Fund (RSDF) receives $5 million in Budget 2006, in addition to carry-over funding of $1.8 million, for the continuation of the program. The RSDF provides funding to economic development organizations for work that complements and enhances the growth of SMEs. This fund is critical to ensuring that necessary infrastructure is in place to support the growth and development of businesses in all regions of the province.
"Over the past two years, this administration has put programs and infrastructure in place to help our businesses excel regionally, provincially and beyond. The programs and funding allocated in Budget 2006 further those efforts," said Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development and Minister responsible for the Rural Secretariat. "Supports to local businesses, diversifying the provincial economy and attracting new businesses to the province are crucial steps in securing Newfoundland and Labrador�s economic future."
To assist entrepreneurs in pursuit of new business ideas and markets, government is continuing its $1 million program for Business and Market Development (BMDP).
Budget 2006 allocates an additional $200,000 to the Ireland Business Partnerships (IBP), increasing its annual budget to $500,000. The increase will allow the IBP to develop and foster a strong trade initiative with Ireland, to work on joint projects in the ocean and marine technology sector and to collaborate on the emerging oil and gas sector in Ireland. Growing international business connections and partnerships through the IBP give Newfoundland and Labrador a competitive edge, and promote the province as a viable and profitable place to do business.
Developing our Mineral Industry
Budget 2006 commits $2.5 million for the Mineral Incentive Program � the largest contribution made in the program�s history. This represents more than a 55 per cent increase over last year�s expenditures. Designed to promote mineral prospecting and exploration activity opportunities in the province, the MIP invests directly in junior companies and prospectors who are active in exploration work in the province. The funding allows companies and individuals to leverage additional investment from the private sector. Every dollar invested by government generates $1.41 of private capital spent on grass roots exploration. The new funding will build on past success by proportionally increasing the number of junior exploration companies and prospectors that can access the program.
"The dividends are clear � encouraging greater exploration activity increases the potential for new business and employment opportunities for the people of the province," said Natural Resources Minister Ed Byrne. "The growth experienced in the sector over the past two years is significant; this new funding boosts our capacity to attract new firms, build relations with existing companies, and enables the mineral industry to aggressively pursue more mineral exploration and development right here in our province."
Government has committed an additional $500,000 to conduct more regionally-driven geological work in the province. An expanded ability to provide timely and public geoscience information benefits the private investment and exploration community since it permits them to quickly identify new prospects for mineral exploration in this province rather than making those investments elsewhere in the world.
Growing our Film Industry
Since its inception, the NLFDC has been successful in developing and attracting more than 90 film projects, including feature films The Shipping News, Rare Birds and the television series Random Passage, generating approximately $77 million in local production activity.
Elimination of Liquor Licensee Levy
"The millions of dollars government is investing in industry development, and the actions we are taking to reduce red tape and fees, are intended to make our businesses more competitive," added Premier Williams. "This will translate into increased employment possibilities for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, and will build upon the foundation of economic growth and prosperity which is our government�s priority."
Budget 2006 also supports initiatives intended to encourage partnerships with business and industry to grow key sectors including cultural industries, tourism, aquaculture, agriculture and agrifoods and small business.
Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the
Premier, (709) 729-3960, 690-5500
2006 03 30 2:15 p.m.
All material copyright the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. No unauthorized copying or redeployment permitted. The Government assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of any material deployed on an unauthorized server.