Development Fund Celebrates Anniversary

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 at 13:19



The Northern Development Fund recently marked its 10th anniversary.


The provincial government says since 1995, the fund has provided almost $16 million in loans and $5.7 million in grants to commercial enterprises in the North.


The majority of the 835 loans that have been granted during that time have gone to traditional land users.


Over 600 have been given to commercial fishers alone.


Northern Affairs Minister Buckley Belanger says while the fund’s interest rates are higher than average, it has been a big help to northerners that would have a tough time finding financing elsewhere.


A department official estimates less than five per cent of the fund’s clients would be able to secure financing at one of the big banks.


The official also indicates the fund has had to write off just under 12 per cent of the loans it has granted, compared to the 10 per cent cap the banks usually strive for.