The Réseau des SADC et CAE has released its annual report for April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, which is testament to the major impact that Sociétés d’aide au développement des collectivités (SADC) and Centres d’aide aux entreprises (CAE) have had on the economic development of Quebec’s regions.
In addition to investing over $100 million to support more than 13,000 businesses and 1,773 joint projects, SADCs and CAEs reached new heights by delivering the Technical Assistance Component of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) to help entrepreneurs adapt their business models and seize opportunities in the recovery period. The year was also marked by the addition of the Virage vert program in March to expand the range of services offered by SADCs and CAEs to assist businesses and communities with sustainable development.
“Thanks to our deep roots in our communities and our quick and effective action, we have been able to meet the needs of entrepreneurs in Quebec’s regions during the pandemic and the recovery period,” said Vallier Daigle, President of the Réseau.
“This achievement is dedicated to our hard-working professionals and local leaders who sit on SADC and CAE boards of directors. I would like to thank the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec (CED) and Minister Pascale St-Onge for being such great partners in working with us to offer important programs like the new Virage vert program.”
“From the start of my term, it was easy for me to see what a key role the SADCs and CAEs play for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions in supporting businesses and rural communities in Quebec as they recover from the pandemic,” said the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions. “The over 1,000 passionate, dedicated volunteers and professionals who work with you help keep the economy moving in the province’s regions and create and maintain good jobs in our communities.”
Read our annual report
Technical assistance for entrepreneurs
In September 2021, SADCs and CAEs wrapped up the RRRF, a program launched by Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions in June 2020 to assist businesses affected by COVID-19. Over the course of the program, $123.5 million was invested to provide loans and technical assistance to businesses and to support joint projects.
This year, SADCs and CAEs focused on the Technical Assistance Component (TAC) of the RRRF, investing nearly $9 million in over 500 businesses to provide specialist support to overhaul or strengthen aspects such as operations, management, human resources and technology integration.
New Virage vert program
In March 2022, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions launched the Virage vert program to help SADCs and CAEs accelerate the roll-out of sustainable development in Quebec’s regions. Delivered by SADCs and CAEs, the program will run until March 2024 and provide $9.5 million to enable more businesses and communities to improve their environmental and economic performance. SADCs and CAEs will be able to provide funding for businesses to access the expertise they need to get there.
Economic development projects for Quebec’s regions
It is easier to create jobs in communities that are socially and culturally prosperous. SADCs and CAEs leverage the strengths of the community to take on economic challenges and invest time and money in community-led initiatives and strategies. This year, over $25.5 million was invested to carry out 1,773 promising joint projects. These included feasibility studies, events and symposiums with a focus on socioeconomic mobilization, cohorts for exchanging the expertise and training needed to help businesses tackle current economic issues, initiatives to encourage consumers to buy local and efforts to tackle the labour shortage.
Les Crevettes de Sept-Îles: A company weathers the storm and goes green thanks to the SADC
Les Crevettes de Sept-Îles is a company led by four entrepreneurs who own a seasonal restaurant named Les terrasses du Capitaine, a fish market called Poissonnerie Soucy and a seafood processing plant. In the summer of 2020, the mandatory closure of the restaurant forced them to pivot their focus to the fish market and processing plant. Faced with declining sales, the owners shifted gears and overhauled their production process to develop new markets in Quebec and abroad. With technical assistance from the SADC Côte-Nord, they were able to automate a number of production phases.
The young entrepreneurs’ interest in sustainable development led them to take part in Synergie 138, a circular economy project established by the regional SADCs to make one person’s trash another person’s treasure. In addition to boosting productivity and reducing waste, they hope to develop a computer system to track merchandise, losses and transactions to be integrated into their current systems. This major technological shift should help keep their business afloat for years to come.
Bottom caption: Entrepreneurs: Jean-François Fournier, Gabrielle Néron, Frédérique Néron and Michel Bourque (not pictured)
ABOUT THE RÉSEAU DES SADC ET CAE
Our network of 57 SADCs (Sociétés d’aide au développement des collectivités) and 10 CAEs (Centres d’aide aux entreprises) has been working in community economic development for more than 40 years. The Réseau des SADC et CAE is made up of over 1,000 professionals and volunteers who support and provide funding to more than 10,000 entrepreneurs and 2,000 local economic development projects every year. SADCs and CAEs offer entrepreneurs personalized, sustained support and flexible financing products that are tailored to their needs. SADCs and CAEs receive financial support from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions.
Christine Pilote, Director, Communications | Phone: 581-999-6363 | firstname.lastname@example.org