The second component of the Export Readiness Training Program will provide one-on-one consulting for up to 60 companies over a three-year period.
The objective will be to help suppliers establish an export development strategy. To be eligible for the program, companies will have to demonstrate that they have the capacity to tackle new markets and are prepared to make the necessary commitment. Consultants will spend up to 60 hours with each participating company.
ONE DC, a development agency established by Northern Ontario’s five major municipalities, will deliver the program.
In the third and final component of the Export Readiness Training Program, companies will be paired with a mentor – most likely a retired executive who knows the target markets and can help make the initial connections, said Bradette.
Suppliers will also be able to take advantage of a Private Sector Export Marketing Assistance Program that will complement and expand on a similar program operated by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. Under this program, Northern Ontario mining supply and service companies will be able to apply to have up to 50 per cent of their export marketing costs subsidized. The Ministry program will extend eligibility to companies regardless of size and will also cover expenses related to developing new markets in the rest of Canada.
Eligible marketing expenses will include marketing materials, flights and accommodations, said Bradette.
Other components of the promotion and assistance program will beef up Ontario’s presence at mining-related trade shows around the world, promote Ontario’s mining supply cluster to new and emerging markets, and fund additional incoming trade missions.
“We have some huge competition out there from countries like Australia, the U.S. and Germany and we’re one of the number one clusters in the world, but our presence at (trade) shows doesn’t always reflect that,” said Bradette.
The Ministry is establishing an advisory committee of mining suppliers and will continue to work with ONE DC and the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA) to maximize the value of the funds allocated.
The Northern Ontario Mining Supply and Services Study commissioned by the Ministry estimated the sector’s annual output at $5.6 billion, 19 per cent of which is currently derived from exports.