A visit to Timmins from a federal minister is looking at the challenges local businesses face when trying to expand. The Minister of Small Business and Tourism, Bardish Chagger, met with business owners and the Productivity Innovation Centre earlier this month.

Ana Blouin, the Project Development Manager for the centre, says among the issues discussed were funding opportunities, the stability of the funding pools allocated to the north, and how much support is provided through federal agencies, like FedNor.

Blouin says the minister also wanted to hear about what further support the government could provide to help small and medium sized businesses grow. Although no solutions were pitched, she says it speaks to the openness and transparency of the federal government. She says the visit shows the government is trying to help, and make a change, to ensure the economy in northern Ontario is growing.