Investing in London-Area Businesses to Boost Local Economy

eAwaz Local News

LONDON – The Ontario government is supporting an investment of nearly $43.2 million by London-area manufacturers to strengthen domestic manufacturing and agri-food production and attract investment in the local economy. The province is investing more than $6 million in five London-area businesses through the Regional Development Program, which will help create 134 jobs and retain 133 jobs.

“Through the Regional Development Program, our government is making targeted investments in local manufacturers to help them create good, local jobs,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “These projects are making a significant impact in communities and economies across London and Southwestern Ontario by helping to secure private-sector investments to create conditions for long-term economic growth and build an economy that makes Ontario the best place in the world to do business, work and raise a family.”

Shogun Maitake is investing more than $31.2 million to build a new production facility in Thames Centre, which will process Maitake mushrooms for the agri-pharm and bio-pharmaceutical industries. With $4.5 million from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, the company will purchase new processing equipment for an innovative state-of-the-art facility that will enhance productivity and make production more efficient. The investment will grow the company’s total revenues and employment, creating 60 new jobs and retaining two existing positions. Shogun Maitake is a producer of Maitake mushrooms, sold in various forms including fresh, dried, and ground or extracted. The company’s competitive advantage is the quality of their products, which are also used in clinical studies for cancer research.

“Shogun Maitake Canada has been operating in Canada since 2017 and has now received support from the Government of Ontario and the City of Thames Centre to expand its facility,” said Yoshinodu Odaira, CEO of Shogun Maitake Canada. “The new 135,000 square foot facility, which will cost more than $31.2 million, will create about 60 new jobs in order to eliminate a significant supply shortage. In addition, our black maitake mushrooms are not only delicious, but their health benefits are the most attractive feature. We will begin selling the supplement next year, expanding access to this food that has shown significant signs of various positive health effects.”

Attica Manufacturing is investing more than $5.3 million to acquire new capital equipment and modify its production facility in London, which will support market diversification and the commercialization of new products. With $531,000 from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, the company will purchase and install new CNC machinery, welding and welding position equipment, and lifting magnets. The project will help the company improve its efficiency and capacity, while also creating 15 new jobs and retaining 48 existing positions. Attica manufactures complex machined parts, providing services to customers that include: prototype and production machining; conventional and CNC machining; assembly, welding and fabrication; and engineering and mechanical design.

“We are pleased to announce that Attica Manufacturing, with help from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, has been able to advance our technologies with new machining equipment capable of creating complex geometries at much faster throughputs than ever before,” said Andy Mavrokefalos, President of Attica Manufacturing. “This armament of both machinery and software has advanced our current and new staff and created a greater diversity in the areas we serve which include cleantech, defense, aerospace, and healthcare industries. We have been well on our way to hit our new jobs targets and are continuing to add to our amazing talented staff in the advanced manufacturing sector.”

Algonquin Bridge is investing more than $3.5 million to make plant improvements and robotics purchases that will allow them to produce made-in-Canada products. These products will include compatible bridge products and optimized modular panel bridges, differentiating them from their competitors. With $525,000 from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, the company will create 10 new jobs and retain 29 existing positions in Thorndale. Algonquin Bridge, founded in 1996, designs and manufactures steel bridges. The company’s core business is selling and renting modular panel bridges, pedestrian and vehicular bridges in Canada.

“We are very pleased to get SWODF assistance for this large capital investment project for our bridge business,” said Dale Gaston, President of Algonquin Bridge. “It helps us to accelerate our ambitious business plans, bring innovation to the steel bridge industry and provide growth opportunities for our employees.”

Arva Industries is investing more than $2.1 million to expand its plant in St. Thomas and purchase equipment for the engineering design and build of 12 hybrid rail-bound crane cars for New York City Transit. With more than $312,000 from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, Arva Industries will be more efficient and meet delivery dates on this milestone contract – the company’s largest to date. The project will create six new jobs and retain 49 existing positions. Arva Industries is an Ontario-based company with global reach, manufacturing underground mining and railway maintenance equipment for the transportation industry.

“The funds provided through this program will help Arva improve productivity and competitiveness within our market,” said Paul J. Smith, President of Arva Industries. “We have been recruiting for additional staff for several months now and anticipate that this trend will continue.”

Planet Shrimp, a brand of RAS Technologies, is investing nearly $1.1 million in new processing equipment at its Aylmer facility to dramatically increase production and enable the company to offer de-headed, de-veined, and peeled shrimp as requested by retailers and foodservice customers. With nearly $163,000 from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, RAS Technologies will create 43 new jobs and retain five existing positions. The company grows shrimp from the post-larvae stage to maturity, to be sold for consumption.

“RAS Technologies greatly appreciates the financial support from the Government of Ontario, which will allow for continued development of our proprietary technology, further establishing our company as the global leader in indoor, land-based, clear water shrimp farming,” said David Barnes, President of RAS Technologies. “This funding commitment will contribute to our efforts to produce healthy, delicious shrimp in an environmentally sustainable manner to both domestic and international markets. We look forward to deploying these proceeds to acquire equipment to further optimize production efficiency, expand our product offerings and implement a made-in-Canada proprietary technology for feed production in our newly built hatchery, the only one of its kind operating in Canada.”

“The Elgin-Middlesex-London region is home to a world-class manufacturing sector that represents a critical component of the provincial economy,” said Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. “I am very pleased to see the continued innovation and growth these businesses are bringing to our community as we prepare for a strong economic recovery.”

Ontario is investing more than $100 million through the Regional Development Program from 2019 to 2023 to support distinct regional priorities and challenges. The program provides cost-shared funding to businesses, municipalities and economic development organizations to help local communities attract investment, diversify their economies, and create jobs.