Jennifer Miller, Economic Development and Tourism Manager for Smiths Falls, presented a report on the SBAC Reserve Fund to town council during Monday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting. The Small Business Advisory Centre (SBAC) Reserve Fund is a fund that has been built over many years through surplus funds from Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development. Surpluses from this program are no longer permitted by the Ministry, so the Lanark County and Smiths Falls (which both supported the operation of this program) are able to use these funds at their discretion.
Town staff recommended that the remaining Reserve Fund be split proportionally between Lanark and Smiths Falls. The report recommended that the town of Smiths Falls leave the $61 000 balance intact for future potential needs.
Council thanked Miller for her report, and agreed that splitting the Reserve Fund was the most fair step forward. Regarding the funds remaining in Smiths Falls, Councillor Wendy Alford commented “I certainly hope they stay earmarked to help local businesses; it’s a rainy day fund and we all know it’s pouring.”
Mayor Pankow agreed that he would rather “find a way to use it now than put it away for the future.”