November 3, 2021 - It started with a plan
Faced with mine operations closing in the Elliot Lake area in the early 1990s, community members came together to plan for their region’s future. One of the ideas that was borne from their working groups was the creation of an economic development organization dubbed “ELNOS” – Elliot Lake and North Shore Corporation for Business Development.
Alongside municipal and First Nation representatives, as well as local business, labour and education representatives, ELNOS is responsible for stimulating economic growth through new business development and investment. Their interest lies in “small, manufacturing and technology related businesses; experienced management and solid earnings performance and growth.” In short, one of their goals is ensure the success of new businesses in the ELNOS Region, which consists of the Corporation of the City of Elliot Lake, Blind River, Spanish, the Township of the North Shore, and Serpent River First Nation.
In addition to a range of funding programs such as their micro-loan fund and their business development assistance program, ELNOS offers a diverse set of services too. For example, ELNOS works with partners on building solid financial strategies, addressing real estate needs, and employing local labour services, among other things.
However, like any good economic development plan, one must think of the incoming labour force. One-way ELNOS hits this target is by providing bursaries to local high school graduates who are pursing post-secondary education. Through these bursaries, these young individuals can develop and strengthen their technical and/or professional skills. Indeed, just last year $18,000 was provided in bursaries for graduating students in the region.
Alongside the nearly $20,000 in bursaries, wider business support in the past year amounted to around $628,000 in approved funding. The allocation of these funds has been used to get businesses up and running, while also funding existing businesses to increase diversification and expansion as detailed in the annual report.
Of course, economic growth and community sustainability cannot be easily achieved without partners. ELNOS has worked with a host of government and non-governmental agencies such as the East Algoma Community Futures Development Corporation, Serpent River Economic Development Corporation, Shedden Development Corporation, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, and the Solutions Group.
Interested? ELNOS provides an outline of the process from application to final business plan. Inquiries are done via phone call, email or in person to the ELNOS office (provided COVID-19 protocols are followed), which will then lead to a meeting to discuss your business or idea. Templates are provided to help ease the process, these include; The Business Plan, and The Business Proposal.
This past year has been hard. It’s impacted the businesses, groups, and individuals that make up your community. Despite this, the pandemic has made quite clear the value of support networks. ELNOS is certainly that in the Elliot Lake area and is a great example of the institutions required to encourage and build on economic growth in Ontario’s Northern Regions.
All it takes is an idea.
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