March 17, 2023, FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government, through Opportunities NB, has committed more than $4.5 million in conditionally repayable loans since April 1 to support productivity improvement projects at 16 New Brunswick companies.

“Productivity is one of the most important determinants of a province’s and country’s prosperity,” said Arlene Dunn, minister responsible for Opportunities NB. “Opportunities NB has prioritized productivity improvement as a key driver to help New Brunswick businesses increase their exports and overall profitability to be competitive in a global marketplace.”

The $4.5 million complements over $43 million in private sector investment for the firms, with the goal of improving their productivity and facilitating further growth.

The 16 companies receiving support are:

  • APEX Industries Inc. ($250,000)
  • Benchmark Fabricators Inc. ($54,400)
  • Berger Group ($80,000)
  • Bouctouche Bay Industries Ltd. ($162,500)
  • Corey Nutrition Company Inc. ($500,000)
  • Crosby Molasses Company Ltd. ($250,000)
  • DEP International ($194,750)
  • Dynamic Truck Bodies Ltd. ($65,000)
  • Groupe Savoie Inc. ($1,000,000)
  • Howell Ventures Ltd. ($144,453)
  • Michaud Equipment Ltd. ($200,000)
  • Moosehead Breweries Ltd. ($969,556)
  • Moulin Aldo & Fils Inc. ($184,121)
  • Prelco Inc. ($140,180)
  • Razor Contract Manufacturing ($412,500)
  • Southeast Welding (2011) Ltd. ($64,373)

Photo by: Stephen MacGillivray Photography & Video

Howell Ventures Ltd., which makes hand controls and driving aids for people with disabilities, is using the loan from Opportunities NB to purchase and install more efficient manufacturing equipment for its plant in Upper Kingsclear.

“Enhancing our productivity is a key part of our strategy in remaining competitive as we expand our business into markets all over the world,” said Howell Ventures Ltd. president Cody Howell. “It has also allowed us to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals from our finishing processes and redirect the efforts of our team members away from repetitive tasks in favour of higher-value processes. All these achievements are critical to maintaining our growth and status as a world leader in adaptive driving aids as we continue to endeavour towards a world without barriers.”

Dunn said New Brunswick’s overall productivity performance has traditionally lagged behind the rest of the country. Opportunities NB works with manufacturers to support projects aimed at improving productivity, strengthening their capacity to increase exports, and scale operations. With this support, manufacturers can improve capacity and lower costs to become more competitive globally.

Opportunities NB is a Crown corporation and the lead economic development agency for the province. It seeks to attract and support opportunities to stimulate the economy and create jobs by providing support services for businesses across the province.


Michel LeBlanc, communications, Opportunities NB,

Photo by: Stephen MacGillivray Photography & Video

From left to right: Barry Pope, Business Development Executive, Opportunities NB; Cody Howell, President, Howell Ventures Ltd.; Richard Ames, MLA for Carleton-York on behalf of Arlene Dunn, minister responsible for Opportunities NB.