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PIC plan to help local small businesses on track

“Staying connected with organizations across the region through regular and informative events.”

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January 11, 2015

TIMMINS – Helping small-to-medium sized business in Northeastern Ontario find ways to become more efficient is going to be the Production and Innovation Centre’s main focus this year going forward.

The Production and Innovation Centre (PIC) officially launched last year following the collaborative efforts of the Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC), the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, the Venture Centre, Northern College and the National Research Council. The idea was to give financial support to for-profit, small-to-medium sized enterprises, and to bring in experts to assess and help to better improve their productivity.

To make it easier for businesses to access those services, PIC has launched its website at www.picontario.ca.

Ana Blouin, PIC project co-ordinator, explained that the website has been upgraded and now contains all the organization’s information, including what services they offer, news and updates.

She said they have been busy getting the assessments lined up and that there are about a dozen companies ready to go.

“We’re only launching the productivity assessments but we will be working and providing services to … basically any industry with the exception of service and retail,” said Blouin. “It’s not because we can’t support them but we can’t give them the financial assistance. Depending what sector you are in, we can actually provide up to 80% of the cost of that operational assessment.

“In addition to that, then we have a program where once the assessment has been done and the consultant has identified the areas of improvement, as an incentive, we provide them with an additional $5,000 to put in place those recommendations.”

She explained that the pilot project PIC is working on only allows 60 for-profit companies to participate. Those wishing to take part can go to the website and fill in the form.

Blouin said the main focus for the year will be to do those assessments as well as commercialization of the businesses.

“It has been a process the last six of months,” she said. “We put together a bank of specialized and very qualified consultants who will be conducting the assessments.

“Therefore, the success story of our clients will be what will indicate how successful the project is. For sure we do have a target to go through at least those 60 companies. Our main goal is that they become more efficient.”

Source: Timmins Press