Maker North celebrated its grand opening on Friday evening, after receiving $178,000 in funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.
Local MPP Ross Romano was at this grand opening to present Maker North with this funding, which will help them to create four full-time and two part-time jobs.
Maker North specializes in additive advanced manufacturing, using new technology such as 3D printing and laser cutting to create a streamlined and more cost efficient process of manufacturing prototypes to help local entrepreneurs in their business endeavours.
“Maker North is a great innovative space for the Sault,” said Romano. “The digital economy is a growing industry around the world and is always a welcome addition to our local business community.”
Romano stressed the importance of NOHFC as a driver for economic development in this and future initiatives in Northern Ontario.
“I am proud to be able to present Maker North with this sizable contribution from NOHFC,” he said. “Our government’s desire to invest in Northern Ontario businesses not only opens the door for us to expand our economic potential in the region, but allows us to diversify our local job base in the Sault and prevent our youth from leaving home to find employment elsewhere.”
Co-founder Joseph Bertrand told SaultOnline he believes their business will create opportunities for local makers and entrepreneurs to make the most of their business ventures without having to leave the Sault. He said this funding will help them afford the technology and staffing needed to do so.
“This funding is also going to give the local entrepreneur and the local member, the person who walks through the door here, an experience that will allow them to be able to produce and create their own designs locally,” he explained. “That money will be used to keep people local, and be driven into the local economy.”
Bertrand said they’ve already seen quite a few local businesses come to them to have various items made, such as signs and key chains. He estimates that Maker North has been involved in approximately 30 assignments of various sizes since their inception two years ago.
This funding announcement comes days after Ontario’s new PC government introduced Bill 47, the Make Ontario Open for Business Act. If passed, Bill 47 would allow the process of investing and creating jobs to become easier for companies by reducing the red-tape burden and removing unnecessary regulations while implementing effective ones.