As we all navigated the many challenges brought by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2021, Opportunities NB (ONB) remained committed to working with businesses to help them grow and succeed. And succeed they did – in all regions and communities across the province.

Today, we continue our regional look back at the many successes our province had in 2021, highlighting some of the most notable many success stories that we have been a part of along the way. ONB is dedicated to continuing to work with our federal, provincial, and sectoral partners to drive continued success this year and into the future.

We now shift our attention to the Southwest region of the province.

The Southwest Region (Charlotte, Kings, and Saint John counties)

Cooke Aquaculture continues to be a world leader in the aquaculture industry. The family-owned company now employs 1,500 New Brunswick residents, with the vast majority based in rural coastal communities. In 2021, the company continued to modernize its operations through a multi-year plan to invest $200 million in new value-added salmon processing production in St. George, freshwater hatchery technology in Pennfield, and innovative saltwater farming equipment across Charlotte County. These projects are creating over 200 new full-time positions and as Cooke continues to grow its global seafood business, these significant investments demonstrate the importance of growing locally in New Brunswick.

Quispamsis-based The Smart Energy Company (TSEC) is helping businesses create pathways to a carbon-neutral future via innovative renewable energy solutions. In June, NB Power selected TSEC to help with the building of a 1.63 megawatt (MW) solar farm in Shediac. “The solar farm is the first of its kind in the province and an important part of the larger Smart Grid Atlantic smart and renewable energy research program being run by NB Power, Siemens Canada, and Nova Scotia Power,” noted the utility in a press release.

“We are thrilled to have NB Power recognize our solution, the NOREASTER ®, as the perfect fit for this project,” noted Jeff McAloon Chief Revenue Officer. “It’s a made-in-New Brunswick solution specifically designed to deal with the harsh Canadian climate. We think it’s fantastic that NB Power is eager to support a local startup like ours offering a solution designed, engineered, and manufactured right here in New Brunswick.”

Razor Contract Manufacturing had another successful year in 2021, telling ONB that they have doubled their sales and increased their workforce by 50 per cent since 2018. This past year saw Razor provide their manufacturing services to The Smart Energy Company to help them fulfill that $4.2 M NB Power solar farm project. Razor continued to be a huge New Brunswick export success story, with 90 per cent of their products going to the United States.

Millennia TEA scored multiple wins in 2021. The makers of innovative fresh-leaf teas now find their products in the freezers of Canada’s second-largest grocer. April saw the company announce a partnership with Sobeys that would bring the first raw, undried TEA to the grocery chain’s stores across Canada. Not stopping there, June saw the company announce they had secured freezer space in Whole Foods Market locations across Canada.

“We’re over-the-moon grateful to ONB, and to its partner agencies, for the ways in which they’ve helped us overcome obstacles no one could have predicted these past 16 months,” said CEO and Co-Founder Tracey Bell in June. “We’re excited to join the growing list of companies from the region making strides to boost the innovation economy of beautiful New Brunswick.”

Four Eyes Financial is a regulatory technology company providing a host of innovative digital solutions to Canadian wealth management firms. Last January, the company told ONB about its impressive growth in 2020. In 2021, they continued their growth and racked up recognition in the process. In November, Four Eyes picked up the Best Compliance-as-a-Service-Solution Award from the Canadian RegTech Association. Only days later, CEO and Co-Founder Lori Weir was named one of the 2021 5-Star Leading Women in Wealth by All this while further expanding their team from 19 at 2020’s end to 32. They also expanded their provincial footprint with a second office in Moncton (they remain headquartered in Saint John).

ProcedureFlow announced a strategic partnership with Skewb, a UK-based consulting firm. The company says this partnership will further accelerate its mission to help organizations achieve digital transformation through enhanced knowledge management and improved customer and employee experience. “As we expand our presence in the United Kingdom, we are delighted to partner with Skewb. Our shared focus and commitment to adding value to the customer experience through process optimization is why this partnership is a great fit,” said CEO Daniella Degrace.

Finally, Saint John’s Mariner was aggressive in its efforts to bring more great tech talent to New Brunswick in 2021. The Mariner team worked with ONB’s Population Growth and Workforce Attraction team on recruitment activity with a focus on immigration. The company has found top talent through attendance of multiple national international virtual events, tapping into MBA and International student streams through our post-secondary schools, and through collaboration with WorkingNB, Future NB, Veterans Affairs Canada, and more.

ONB will continue to tell the stories of the New Brunswick companies thriving in 2022. Watch this space and our social media for more: Twitter – Facebook – LinkedIn – YouTube