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Six Pictou County businesses receive funding through Michelin Development program

THORBURN – After working in the small engine and repair field for more than 35 years, Ron Fultz has his own business.

Ron’s Small Engine Repair & Rentals began operating in May, but the plans have been in the works for much longer, says his wife, Barb, who handles the bookkeeping.

The business, based out of Thorburn, is one of eight in the area funded by a partnership between Michelin Development, Bergengren Credit Union, Northern Opportunities for Business Limited (NOBL), and CBDC Guysborough.

The local Michelin Development program aims to create jobs in the areas affected by the reduction of tire manufacturing at the Granton plant.

By funding small businesses, they’re hoping to be able to create at least 250 jobs.

“We’re very happy with the results. There’s been quite a few applications,” president of Michelin Development North America John Tully said, adding that the partnership helps to get the word out to more potential businesses.

It also allows for more funding.

They’re able to offer loans up to $300,000 with $6 million earmarked for the program.

For the Fultz family, the loan meant being able to buy equipment for their rentals – small gas and propane-powered equipment for yard work, construction, and flooring.

It also enabled them to create a website for their business.

Barb heard about the program through her work at Michelin, where she currently processes payroll.

The Michelin Development program is open to anyone in the community, including current and former employees of Michelin.

After hearing about it during an announcement at the plant, they attended a presentation at the Museum of Industry before applying, creating a business plan, and receiving the very first loan.

“I thought, why not?” she said, adding that they were very lucky.

The program, open to Pictou, Antigonish, Colchester, and Guysborough counties, have, so far, given out $305,000 in loans, six of which are in Pictou County. 

The businesses, which could create 39 potential jobs, range from trucking, car and engine repair, an indoor shooting range, food service, and a hair salon.

Aside from Ron’s Small Engine Repair, the businesses include Chelsea Laine Salon and Colour Bar in New Glasgow, South Main Car Care in Westville, Hunt Outdoors in Truro, TKM Trucking in Loch Broom, Whack it Down Yer Neck – a mobile food truck – in New Glasgow, Baini Development in Brookfield, and MacPherson’s Trailer Service in Westville.

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda 

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