Local businesses get millions in funding to help create dozens of new jobs

The provincial government is providing millions towards several local manufacturers to support their recent investments in the region.

Through the Regional Development Program, the government is providing $6-million in funding to five companies that have recently invested a combined $43.2-million in the local economy.

The funding was announced by Minister of Economic Development Vic Fedeli at an event in London, Ont. Wednesday morning.

“We’re seeing these companies coming here creating these good paying jobs. These are very strong, solid, manufacturing jobs. And that is why we are investing this money through what we call the Southwestern Development Fund.”

The funding will help to create 134 jobs and keep an additional 133 jobs.

Speaking about those jobs Fedeli added, “This is exactly why we have developed the regional development program...this is exactly why. It’s to create these jobs, it’s to help the companies with their investments.”

The bulk of the investment will go to Shogun Maitake which has invested $31.2-million towards a new production facility in Thames Centre to process mushrooms for agri-pharm and bio-pharmaceutical industries.

The company will receive $4.5-million from the Regional Development Program.

The investment is expected to help create 60 new jobs.

Speaking for Shogun Maitake, Joe Fontana explained clinical trials are underway in the U.S. on the company's oil extract.

"[We] hope within the next year-and-a-half those clinical trials will show that Maitake mushrooms not only supports the immune system, but is also capable of helping with cancer, diabetes and cholesterol."

He said the funding will allow those new products to be introduced in Canada and the U.S.

The other companies benefitting from Wednesday’s announcement are Aittica Manufacturing, Algonquin Bridge, Arva Industries, and Planet Shrimp.

Each company has made millions in investments into the local economy whether through production improvements or new equipment.

The boost from the Regional Development Program dozens of new jobs between the companies and retain many more.

The government launched the Regional Development Program for Eastern and Southwestern Ontario in November 2019, with more than $100-million in funding expected to be provided through 2023.

- With files from CTV News London's Marek Sutherland