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Pillar Nonprofit Network - Ontario Budget 2019

To:  Vic Fedeli, Minister of Finance and Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation

Jan. 23, 2019
Delivered by: Michelle Baldwin, Executive Director
Contact: mbaldwin@pillarnonprofit.ca or 519-433-7876 x210
 
I am Michelle Baldwin and I am the Executive Director at Pillar Nonprofit Network, a regional network that supports individuals, organizations and enterprises invested in their community impact in London and across Southwestern Ontario.
 
We believe the three pillars – nonprofit business and government working together is how we create an engaged, inclusive and vibrant community. I am also the Vice Chair of the Ontario Nonprofit Network.
 
Our partnership with government is essential for nonprofits and social enterprises to thrive because they are essential to our economy and we are significant employers and contribute to job creation.
 
A large portion of the revenue of nonprofits comes from earned revenue. We are working to support nonprofit and for-profit social enterprise to flourish and we know we need our strong partnership and support from government for key services in our community. We request that your programs for small business and technology be extended to nonprofit and social enterprise since we know they are building solid business plans and financial models that will contribute to job growth, economic growth and community impact.
 
We request you maintain the funding for the Ontario Trillium Foundation at the level it was in 2018 because these investments into nonprofits impact every Ontarian in both rural and urban communities. From sports, social services, arts & culture – Ontario Trillium Foundation invests in the services, capital and new ways of tackling some of our most persistent challenges.
 
We have seen firsthand how local investment for local impact strengthens social enterprise. Through VERGE Capital, with our partners Libro Credit Union, London Community Foundation, Sisters of St. Joseph and MaRS SVX we have leveraged over 3.7 million in investments for social enterprises. One example is Old East Village Grocer started by ATN that began with an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant and a $100,000 social finance loan from VERGE.  This is a social enterprise that provides food in what was a food desert and hires those with disabilities. This is about healthy food, job creating and community connections.
 
The provincial government support can leverage other investors and therefore increasing the capital pool available for social enterprise. Access to capital and business supports from our Ontario Network for Entrepreneurs has lead to measurable financial and community impact. We know you value entrepreneurship and ask that you consider support to harness this momentum that is building across the province, Canada and the world.
 
Nonprofits and social enterprises are the foundation of Ontario and we are our partners. It is through cross sector collaboration between government, business and nonprofit that we build an Ontario that is prosperous together.

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