Three Sussex-area businesses tapped into more than $700,000 in federal and provincial help on Tuesday, which will be used to create 39 jobs and expand their companies.

Marc Thorne

Sussex Mayor Marc Thorne thanked the federal and provincial governments for investing more than $700,000 in three local businesses on Tuesday. (Connell Smith/CBC)

The economy in the southern New Brunswick community was dealt a significant blow in January when PotashCorp announced it was suspending operations at its Picadilly mine and cutting 430 well-paying positions.

Two months later, federal and provincial politicians came into town with the governments' chequebooks open and ready to invest in Alantra Leasing, Mrs. Dunster's and Timberparts.

Premier Brian Gallant announced Opportunities New Brunswick, the province's Crown corporation that is in charge of economic development, would invest $365,000 in the three companies and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency would kick in $356,613.

The federal and provincial funding will allow the companies to hire new people, purchase equipment and expand their facilities.

nb-potash-mine

PotashCorp announced in January it was suspending its operation at its Picadilly mine in Sussex. (CBC)

"Supporting established companies to grow and expand, as well as increasing the export readiness of New Brunswick companies are key to creating jobs here at home," Gallant said in a statement.

"Understandably, it doesn't replace the huge job loss that was experienced in January, but it goes a long way to instill optimism, one job at a time."

Alantra Leasing, which builds and leases mobile office trailers, received $116,000 from the provincial government to help hire 20 people over the next two years and create new export opportunities. The federal government is also handing over a repayable loan of $157,500 for a 5,000-foot expansion of its facility.

Mrs. Dunster's received $165,513 from the federal government and $99,500 from the provincial government. A government statement said the funding for the bakery will create nine new jobs and help boost sales.

Timberparts, a forestry products supplier, will get $33,600 from the federal government to assist the company in hiring and it will receive $150,000 from New Brunswick taxpayers to move into a new facility and hire 10 people. 

Sussex Mayor Marc Thorne was at the news conference on Tuesday and thanked both levels of government for the financial assistance.