The province unveiled another infrastructure announcement in this new year yesterday, pledging $175 million for loans to companies through its Industrial Expansion Fund.
The Progressive Conservatives have said they would rely heavily on infrastructure spending to help drag the province out of hard economic times.
“We are making more money available to support businesses that are ready to expand, invest in new technology and to improve productivity and competitiveness,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald in a release. “Most importantly, we’re helping these companies maintain current jobs and create new ones.”
It was also announced that four companies will receive $4 million in funding.
Halifax’s NovaScotian Crystal got $300,000 to help it restructure its operations.
Halifax’s LED Roadway Lighting got a $1-million interest-bearing loan to help sell energy efficient roadway lights internationally.
Enfield-based Ledwidge Lumber got a $1.2-million bridge loan for land being acquired by the Crown. Apple Valley Foods of Kentville got a $1.5-million loan guarantee to “support the company with necessary resources to ensure future growth.”
In total, the province is topping up its Industrial Expansion Fund, which loans out money to businesses for development, by $175 million.
The repayment and interest varies by the individual loan.
In 2007-2008 the Industrial Expansion Fund authorized nearly $60 million for 26 companies.
The NDP quickly came out against the plan, saying the money would be better spent through Nova Scotia Business Inc., an arms-length agency, because it has tighter standards.
Last week NDP Leader Darrell Dexter announced his government would create a 10 per cent manufacturing tax credit. Dexter said the approximately $25-million cost of that credit would likely come out of the Industrial Expansion Fund, which he said government sometimes uses to fund projects that otherwise wouldn’t meet criteria.