August 7, 2018, FREDERICTON (GNB) – A report outlining Opportunities NB’s approval and payment information for the first quarter of fiscal 2018-19 is available online.
“It is important that Opportunities NB, as the province’s lead economic development agency, be transparent and accountable,” said Economic Development Minister Francine Landry, who is also the minister responsible for Opportunities NB. “Beginning this month, we will be publishing information on a quarterly basis on our website.”
In December 2017, the board of directors accepted the recommendation of management that the Crown corporation proactively disclose signed funding agreements on a quarterly basis and payment information annually. This information will be displayed on the transparency section of Opportunities NB’s website.
Signed agreements are financial investments that have been approved that quarter for disbursement to clients at a later date when the project is underway or completed and conditions and/or targets are met.
Payments are payments that have been dispersed to clients that were approved and committed at an earlier date. Payments are dispersed when the client meets agreed-upon targets and conditions. Payments are up to the approved amount, but can be less than the approved amount should targets or conditions not be met.
“I am very proud that, with these new online disclosures, Opportunities NB will be one of the most accountable and transparent economic development agencies in North America,” said board chair Roxanne Fairweather. “As chair of Opportunities NB’s independent board, I wish to commend the dedicated professionals who have worked to implement the board’s transparency directive. Accountability is one of Opportunities NB’s core values, and we take our responsibility and accountability to New Brunswick taxpayers extremely seriously.”
The information to be posted includes the approval date for investments, company names, the type of financial instrument used, and the total amount of each investment.
The types of investment provided are:
- Payroll rebates, which are performance based and only given to a company once it has met criteria set out in its agreement with Opportunities NB. The company will receive a payroll rebate annually, based on the percentage of the salary of every job filled that meets the conditions outlined in the agreement.
- Capital assets, which are contributions supporting capital investments made in the province supporting expansion or diversification efforts of the company. The contributions are earned on a claims basis for a percentage of the eligible investment costs.
- Credit, which includes repayable loans and guarantees supporting capital investments made in the province supporting expansion or diversification efforts of the company. Credit terms vary and are based on associated risks.
- Market Development and Innovation funding, which are contributions supporting the development of new markets and customers or efforts to increase productivity. The contributions are earned on a claims basis for a percentage of the eligible costs.
In the first quarter of fiscal 2018-19, agreements for potential financial assistance totalling $21,505,068 were signed with 71 businesses.
In addition to this newly released transparency information, Opportunities NB’s website also contains a results section, which displays the committed and actual job totals Opportunities NB has produced since its inception in April of 2015.
Since that time, Opportunities NB has signed commitments to create 9,444 new jobs and has created 4,977 actual new jobs for New Brunswickers.