October 11, 2016 4:53 pm

Joint funding to connect immigrant entrepreneurs with business opportunities

WATCH ABOVE: Members of government and the business community are hopeful a joint funding announcement made in Fredericton will be the answer to more than one problem. Global's Jeremy Keefe has more.

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The federal, provincial and municipal governments have combined to support a pilot program that will help match immigrant entrepreneurs in New Brunswick with business owners looking to sell.

“Succession Connect” is expected to address two high priority issues: an aging workforce looking to retire, and the need to attract immigrants to the province.

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“To help newcomers when they come to the region match up with business owners and businesses looking at people to help with the succession of the businesses,” said Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey.

“It’s a great economic opportunity for the region, a great social opportunity to help welcome newcomers.”

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“We need a new generation of entrepreneurs in our community,” said DeCourcey.

Through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the federal government is investing $259,224. The New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour is contributing $102,820 with the City of Fredericton adding $78,007 and corporate sponsors another $65,720.

“Newcomers who take over existing businesses or purchase existing businesses have better success than those that try to start something on their own,” explained Fredericton Chamber of Commerce CEO Krista Ross.

“They have a short window of time when they can get things going when they first get here so this gives them a turn-key opportunity to get a business up and running.”

READ MORE: Immigration pilot project receiving criticism from N.B. opposition

“We need more people in our city to support everything that’s going to happen and this is a tremendous way to bring them in,” said Fredericton Mayor Mike O’Brien.

The program is expected to begin immediately.

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