An established forestry business in Nova Scotia is receiving a short-term loan as it restructures its operations to meet the industry’s recent economic challenges. Today, April 8, Economic and Rural Development Minister Murray Scott announced a $200,000 interest-bearing loan through the Industrial Expansion Fund for Advocate Contracting, a family-owned business in Cumberland County. “Capital and even short-term loans are harder to come by these days; we are pleased to step in to support businesses that are taking all necessary actions to remain competitive and productive during these difficult economic times,” said Mr. Scott. “The province is committed to helping successful companies adapt to changing economic conditions.” The Ells family has operated Advocate Contracting in Advocate Harbour, for more than 25 years. The company has a successful history of timber sales and is now restructuring its operations to concentrate on moving harvested timber to mills, and its finances to increase working capital. “We are concentrating our efforts and resources on meeting the demands of an evolving industry,” said Reg Ells, president of Advocate Contracting. “This loan will help us move ahead with our plans for the future.” The province has agreed to provide the bridge loan to Advocate Contracting until the Department of Natural Resources completes the land purchase valued at $200,000. The purchase will be made under the Nova Scotia Forestry Transition Program, a program established to assist the forestry sector by purchasing surplus lands. When the land is purchased, the loan will be retired with the purchase funds, and the land will be added to the Crown land base. With the loan, a minimum of six employees will continue working and contributing to the rural community. As a result of the world-wide economic and credit crisis, successful companies operating in Nova Scotia are experiencing challenges accessing capital from banks. With the Industrial Expansion Fund, the government of Nova Scotia is able to provide access to capital and help protect jobs and support businesses to be more competitive and sustainable.