Gelato business, welder and town of Borden-Carleton tap into latest McCain grants

Two businesses in Borden-Carleton as well as the town itself are the latest winners of grants from the final round of the McCain Fund. 

$2 million fund set up by McCain after french fry plant closed in 2014

The town of Borden-Carleton received $247,000 for the first phase of its master plan. (Town of Borden-Carleton)

Two businesses in Borden-Carleton as well as the town itself are the latest winners of grants from the second round of the McCain Fund. 

The $2 million fund to help create employment was set up by McCain Foods after the company closed its french fry plant in Albany in 2014, resulting in 121 lost jobs. The first round of grants was announced in 2017 and went to four businesses, as well as the town. 

"This fund has allowed businesses to expand or open in our community and that has certainly helped to lessen the blow from the closure of the plant in 2014," said Borden-Carleton Mayor Charles MacKenzie, in a written news release Wednesday. 

"It's also allowed our community to do some long-term planning to help our town reach its full potential into the future."

Recipients under the second round of funding include the town, which has been awarded $247,000 for the first phase of its master plan.

New business Island Gelato will receive $25,000 and Bernard's Welding will receive $25,000 to expand. One more grant recipient will be announced next week, the release said.

'Tremendous driver'

The first grants were awarded in May 2017 to nine businesses and the town of Borden-Carleton. 

The McCain french fry plant in Borden-Carleton is closed in 2014, and 121 jobs went with it. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Tree Top Haven, Sillikers Glass and MacDougall Steel, the company that purchased the former McCain plant, all accessed the fund. However five of the projects including proposals from Larkin Brothers, Canadian Cold Storage and Mrs. Dunster's Bakery did not happen, and $618,000 remained in the fund for second-round applicants. 

For both rounds of funding, a committee of representatives from Innovation PEI, the community of Borden-Carleton, the Central Development Corporation, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and McCain evaluated the project submissions.

"This fund has been a tremendous driver [of] economic development in the Borden-Carleton region," said Economic Growth Minister Matthew MacKay in Wednesday's release.

"It's helped to create dozens of jobs, and has assisted the region's recovery from the loss of the plant and the workers that went with it."

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