2013-10-17 at 11:21
Husband and wife Craig and Hollie Napper say a $76,350 grant from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation has helped them expand their business in a faster fashion than they thought possible.
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Hollie Napper says without the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, she and her husband Craig would still be in business.
But the co-owner of The Blue Door Bistro said they might not already be looking at expanding what they do.
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The Nappers, who opened their North Syndicate restaurant less than a year ago, received $76,350 through the $100-million program, money they hope will allow the upscale breakfast nook to branch out into catering.
“The grant has allowed us to expand what we already thought we wanted to do,” Napper said. “It has given us new dreams in terms what we knew we could afford to do and what we could expand on doing.
“It gave us a cushion to feel comfortable and safe knowing we would still be able to protect our family and ourselves and go further with creating our jobs and hopefully giving ourselves security in our jobs.”
Chelsea Rivalin said starting a farm is an expensive prospect.
Through the NOHFC’s young entrepreneur grant, she was given $25,000 to help purchase the tools and equipment she needed to grow the vegetables and herbs she plans to sell locally.
The cash injection into her fledgling business gave her the head start she needed, Rivalin said Thursday.
“Starting a business with a lot of debt creates a lot of pressure,” she said.
MPP Bill Mauro (Lib., Thunder Bay-Atikokan) said the government wants to reward business owners who take risks, and subsequently create jobs.
That’s what the program is all about, he said.
“I have great respect for entrepreneurship and private-sector employers who are risk takers. It’s always nice when you can support them and hopefully see them be successful in the long term.”
Mauro said in the 10 years he’s been in office, it’s been his goal to see the NOHFC expand its horizons. Its annual budget has grown by 67 per cent since 2008.
Success rates for the program were not available.
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