SAINT-FRANÇOIS DE MADAWASKA (GNB) – Federal and provincial government support of more than $2.4 million to four companies will help create 20 jobs in northwestern New Brunswick.

The announcement was made today at the JMN Enterprises wood product manufacturing facility in Saint-François de Madawaska. The company is increasing its workforce by 13 employees with the help of investments from the federal and provincial governments.

“New Brunswick is an export-driven province and our government is committed to helping companies grow their exports, increase their competitiveness and create jobs here at home,” said Economic Development Minster Francine Landry, who is also minister responsible for Opportunities NB. “In recognition of Small Business Week we are pleased to support companies like JMN Enterprises and celebrate their accomplishments, and the significant contribution small businesses make to the New Brunswick economy and local communities.”

JMN is a family-owned company that produces products such as cutting boards, butchers blocks, service trays, fence posts, and components of furniture and cabinets.

The provincial government is providing the company a $307,427 non-repayable grant through Opportunities NB and the Regional Development Corporation’s Northern New Brunswick Economic Development and Innovation Fund. The new investment will help the company take on a multi-million dollar contract.

Three other companies are also expanding with government support.

“Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Atlantic Canadian economy,” said Madawaska-Restigouche MP René Arseneault. “Our economic success depends, in part, on their ability to continuously adapt to changing markets so they can remain competitive here in Canada and on the world stage. The federal government is pleased to support four projects that will help local small and medium-sized businesses do just that as they increase productivity all while creating more jobs for the people in this region.”

Arseneault commented for federal Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, who is also minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

Boise Cascade-Alljoist, a wood products company in St. Jacques, will receive a $229,650 non-repayable grant from Opportunities NB and the Northern New Brunswick Economic Development and Innovation Fund. The grant will assist the company in purchasing an automated assembly system and will allow the company to increase its production capacity, quality, export sales, and employee safety.

Fiready, a company which produces kiln-dried hardwood firewood products in Clair, will receive a $96,250 non-repayable grant from Opportunities NB and the Northern New Brunswick Economic Development and Innovation Fund. The grant will help the company buy equipment to expand and improve its operations, creating three new full-time jobs.

Water Blasting & Vacuum Services, in Edmundston, will receive a $200,000 non-repayable grant from Opportunities NB and the Northern New Brunswick Economic Development and Innovation Fund. The company specializes in industrial cleaning services for equipment used in the pulp and paper industry and public work departments. The grant will help with the purchase of new equipment and a high- pressure washer that will better serve their industrial customers, increase sales, productivity, and safety, creating four new jobs.

The federal government is providing repayable contributions of more than $1.6 million to the four projects through ACOA’s Business Development Program.

The four companies combined employ more than 150 people in the largely rural area.

Opportunities NB is a Crown corporation that seeks to attract and support opportunities to grow the economy and create jobs. It provides support services for businesses across the province.