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____ Friday December 4, 2015 ____



Ontario Improving Employment Opportunities for People Facing Barriers

Province Invests $4 million to Pilot Community Loans Fund

Queens Park - Ontario is partnering with leading financial institutions to create a fund aimed at increasing employment opportunities for people facing employment barriers.

The Community Loans Fund, part of Ontario’s Accessibility Action Plan, will provide discounted rates on financial products, such as loans, to businesses that commit to hiring people facing barriers such as people with disabilities, long-term unemployed, older unemployed, newcomers to Canada and unemployed Indigenous persons. The province is partnering with Alterna Savings, Libro Credit Union, First Ontario Credit Union and Meridian to deliver this fund.

The two-year, $4 million fund will:

1 Help up to 1,100 people find careers
2 Support up to 500 businesses
3 Allow businesses to receive a 0.5 to one per cent reduced interest rate on a loan, in the form of a rebate, for each person they hire for a minimum of six months

The Community Loans Fund will be available in spring 2016 in specific branches in pilot locations including London, Ottawa and Hamilton.

Creating employment opportunities for people facing employment barriers is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.

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