NSBI releases first annual report

Oct 30, 2003

(HALIFAX) - In its first full fiscal year of operation, Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) achieved its corporate targets and generated a positive return on investment for the Province. Details were released today in the corporation's first annual report, covering April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003.

Highlights of the report include:

* Supported the expansion of 17 Nova Scotia companies through $13.6 million in new financial transactions, which attracted an additional $18 million in financing from private and public financial institutions;

* Held one-on-one meetings with almost 500 small businesses throughout the province to identify growth opportunities and provide referrals to financial and export services;

* Assisted 113 export clients in their efforts to increase sales outside Nova Scotia;

* Attracted new direct investment into Nova Scotia from seven external companies;

* Committed to a total maximum of $29.4 million in payroll rebates that could provide an additional $6.4 million in direct taxes to the Province in 2003/04  a Return On Investment of 32.6%.

* Helped new financial services and payroll rebate clients create or maintain more than 4,000 jobs.

NSBI has been successful in meeting its objectives over the past year because it remained focussed and results-oriented, said Tom Stanfield, Chair of the Board of Directors of NSBI, although still relatively new, NSBI has proven its ability to achieve results while demonstrating accountability, managing risk, generating a return on investment and creating an organizational culture that supports entrepreneurial thinking and professionalism.
NSBI's revenues totalled $40.4 million during fiscal 2002/03. The net $10.2 million consists primarily of interest revenue generated from its $180 million financing portfolio (comprised of 230 clients operating in diverse industry sectors throughout the province). This was reinvested in the Nova Scotia Fund which is utilized for NSBI's lending and investment activity.

NSBI's new authorizations generated a financial leverage ratio of $1 to $1.33; for every dollar NSBI invested in companies, an additional $1.33 in investment was attracted from other private or public financial institutions.

While in the process of building our team in our first year, we were able to generate a return, as well as support small business growth and create awareness of Nova Scotia's competitive strengths all part of our mandate, said President and CEO Stephen Lund. Our first year's success is a direct result of the business tenacity and entrepreneurial drive displayed by our clients and various business partners. Their success is our success and we will continue to achieve only through our collective efforts as a business community.

NSBI attracted seven new investments into Nova Scotia, facilitated by $29.4 million in payroll rebate commitments. A payroll rebate is a performance-based investment from the Province's Strategic Investment Funds, that is paid to companies after they achieve pre-determined milestones over a period of time, usually five to seven years. Payroll rebate clients generate more direct taxes than the amount paid to them in payroll rebates and, as a result, additional tax revenue is generated for the Province. The projected additional tax revenue for 2003/04 is $6.4 million, and is expected to grow to $17 million by 2008, provided all performance benchmarks are met.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. was officially created through regulation on November 6, 2001, to take a private-sector approach to business development to help grow Nova Scotia's economy. The organization reports to a private-sector board comprising 13 business leaders from various regions and sectors throughout the province. NSBI makes business decisions and is fully accountable to its shareholder, the Province of Nova Scotia.
"NSBI is helping Nova Scotia become a stronger, prouder, more prosperous province," said Economic Development Minister Ernest Fage. "More people are working, more families are better off and government has more tax dollars to spend on the things people care about, like
health care and education."
Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the province's business development agency, an organization that works with companies to provide business solutions. The private sector-led agency works to attract new businesses to the province and help those already in Nova Scotia expand through services such as export development and financing.