The Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation, which serves Lanark and North Leeds County, disbursed over $1 million in business loans in 2016-17, with 30 per cent of those funds going to businesses in Smiths Falls.
Stacie Lloyd, the agency’s regional economic development officer, provided a report to members of Smiths Falls town council at a meeting Oct. 10.
Lloyd also reported that Valley Heartland disbursed $450,000 in the region through the Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP) in 2016-17.
Clients receiving loans in that one-year period created 43 jobs, Lloyd said. EODP clients in the same period created 45 jobs.
Forty per cent of EODP funding, $180,316, went to clients in Perth. Smiths Falls clients received 32 per cent, or $145,023, of the funding.
Local success stories include the Smiths Falls-based Two Rivers Food Hub. Valley Heartland provided the local foods distributor with a grant to finance its feasibility study, as well as providing a $50,000 loan to help it complete its projects on time.
Lloyd provided councillors with details on several of Valley Heartland’s current projects and economic development partnerships. One partnership is the Regional Economic Development Alliance, which includes representation from all municipalities.