Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

GRAVENHURST — Mike Goudie hopes to double his workforce in the next couple years after the federal government gave his 24-year-old Gravenhurst company a $1,631,250 repayable loan to add 10,000 square feet of floor space for his aircraft refinishing plant at the Muskoka Airport.

The president of Muskoka Aircraft Refinishing tells MuskokaTODAY.com that he has 32,000 square feet and 22 workers now.

And with the news Friday he hopes to break ground in 90 days.

Patty Hajdu, federal Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, made the announcement while touring the plane-painting plant Friday.

She also announced three other Muskoka businesses will receive money loans and grants as part of $2,210,299 in Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor) investments.

Sawdust City Brewing in Gravenhurst will also receive a loan of $503,549; Muskoka Arts and Crafts Inc. $40,500 and Muskoka Chautauqua $35,000.

Minister Patty Hajdu and owner Mike Goudie, right, along with a Muskoka Aircraft Refinishing employee on the tarmac with one of the planes the Gravenhurst company is working with at Muskoka Airport March 10 for the loan announcement.

The monies are provided through FedNor’s core programs and the Government of Canada’s Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI), and will go Muskoka Aircraft Refinishing and Sawdust City Brewing Company expand, adopt state-of-the-art technology, increase revenue and reduce their environmental footprint, says a government release.

It says the FedNor cash “will support four business and community building related initiatives in the Muskoka region, helping to create and maintain 92 jobs.”

And “provide new opportunities for young Canadians to secure meaningful employment by helping Muskoka Arts & Crafts Incorporated and Muskoka Chautauqua hire youth interns for a one-year period.”

Goudie said the money will “allow us to expand our facilities and purchase state-of-the-art equipment so we can service larger aircraft and capitalize on immediate and future opportunities. This major expansion will not only help us to enhance our quality of workmanship, it will allow us increase revenues and efficiencies, create high-quality jobs and reduce our environmental footprint.”

He says the repayable loan will allow Muskoka Aircraft Refinishing to expand its operations and purchase state-of-the-art equipment. Specifically, the funding will be used to expand its facility at the Muskoka Airport by 10,000 square feet and increase the ceiling height so they can service larger aircraft. To help the company increase efficiencies, enhance quality of the workmanship and open the door to new business opportunities, the funding will also be used to purchase new high efficiency equipment such as a new a compressor and electrostatic spray paint guns.

Goudie gave a tour of the paint plan to Hajdu during her FedNor funding annoucement last week. He said the money will help the company increase efficiencies, enhance quality of the workmanship and open the door to new business opportunities, the funding will also be used to purchase new high efficiency equipment such as a new a compressor and electrostatic spray paint guns. (Photo FedNor)

Over the next five years it is expected to create and maintain close to 60 jobs in the region.

Added Natalie Archer, CAO of Sawdust City Brewing: “We’re thrilled that FedNor is stepping up to help us modernize the brewery so we can expand and meet increased demand. Acquiring new cutting-edge processing equipment will allow us to reduce downtime and waste, while increasing efficiencies, production and the shelf life of our exceptional craft beers.”

The government says provided through FedNor’s core programs, and the Government of Canada’s Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI), the $2,210,299 announced today The Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI) will help the Canadian aerospace sector emerge from the pandemic with the capacity to compete on the global stage. With a total budget of $250 million over three years (until March 31, 2024), this initiative is being delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs). It complements support for the aerospace industry provided through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and by Industry, Science and Economic Development (ISED) through the Strategic Innovation Fund.

A total of $11.88 million has been allocated to FedNor to administer the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative in Northern Ontario over three years, ending March 31, 2024.

Sawdust City Brewing Company Inc.                                                       

Sawdust City is receiving a repayable FedNor investment of $503,549 to purchase cutting-edge processing equipment to increase efficiencies, production and the shelf life of its craft beers. The new equipment will replace the existing canning line with a more efficient, faster system that produces a higher quality, more consistent product. Once complete, this project will help this innovative company increase output to accommodate the growing demand for its high-quality craft beers. Over the next five years, this strategic initiative is expected to create and maintain more than 30 jobs

Initiatives funded through FedNor’s

Northern Ontario Development Program

Muskoka Arts & Crafts Inc.                                                                           

Muskoka Arts & Crafts (MAC) is receiving a non-repayable FedNor investment of $40,500 to hire a youth intern for a one-year period. While on the job, the intern will help develop and implement a social media and marketing campaign, coordinate and optimize MAC events and support the growth of small business and the creative economy. This priority project supports the Government of Canada’s Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario by helping to build stronger communities and supporting young graduates.

Gayle Dempsey and Gary Froude, centre, with the ministter and for their $30,000 funding grant to hire an intern again to help with their annual Chautauqua summer arts program.

Muskoka Chautauqua                                                                             

To enhance tourism and strengthen the creative economy, a non-repayable FedNor investment of $35,000 will allow Muskoka Chautauqua to hire a youth intern for a one-year period. The successful candidate will be responsible for a variety of key activities such as working with partners to develop a strategic plan and coordinating tourism initiatives and major events including the summer festival in the historic Village of Windermere.

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