Individuals receiving Ontario Works are now eligible to obtain a micro-loan of up to $5,000 to help them start their own business. The goal of the program is to support citizens in transitioning from OW to self-employment. This initiative was developed by the District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Service Administration Board, in partnership with the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation.
“Micro-loans have proven to be an effective strategy to assist people in becoming empowered and escaping poverty,” said Mike Nadeau, Commissioner of Social Services. “If you are receiving Ontario Works and have a business idea, contact your Case Manager to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Under the new micro-loan program, the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, a non-profit organization that works to create and retain jobs in the community, will assess business viability, assist with preparing business plans, and recommend funding based on business needs and feasibility. The Corporation will also provide mentoring and general assistance to program participants.
“The micro-loan program is designed to generate business startups and create jobs while also helping to ease the burden on our social services agencies,” said Dan Hollingsworth, Executive Director of Business Development for the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. “We look forward to delivering this program with our community partners, and we encourage eligible citizens to take advantage of it.”
Micro-loan recipients will also receive business mentoring through the Centre for Social Justice and Good Works. The Centre will pair the new business owner with mentors in the community who are successful entrepreneurs, business owners or professional service providers. Mentors will deliver advice, support and encouragement to loan recipients to help them increase their business sustainability.
For more information about the micro-loans program, OW recipients can contact their Case Manager.