In 2012, Lithium One Imports Ltd., a Prince George granite countertop fabrication company, accessed Northern Development’s Competitiveness Consulting Rebate program to re-orient their business for growth. As part of an expansion, they purchased new equipment and moved their operation to a larger facility to accommodate their growth. The new equipment included a specialized bridge rail saw from India to fabricate granite into counter tops. The bridge saw helped the company increase productivity to fabricate up to 10 kitchen countertops per week instead the previous output of 1.5 per week.
The company used Northern Development’s Competitiveness Consulting Rebate program to help fund the cost to hire a consultant to train their staff on using the granite saw. The program provides a rebate to small and medium sized companies engaged in manufacturing, innovative technologies, resource processing, transportation, distribution and their first line suppliers for outsourced consulting services.
A rebate of up to 50% to a yearly maximum of $30,000 can be recovered for the cost of external business consulting projects. The use of the consultant also meant Lithium One staff were able to develop proper operating and safety procedures for their new equipment. Since then, Lithium One’s customer base has grown dramatically and expanded their market share to include all of northern B.C.
Terry Thiara, Operations Manager of Lithium One Imports Ltd. tells us, “The rebate that we received from Northern Development helped us tremendously. In our expansion we purchased specialized equipment, and went from hand producing everything to a fully automated process. With the Competitiveness Consulting Rebate we were able to access consulting services to learn proper techniques on how to operate the new equipment. We were able to bring in an expert to stay with us for a few months to help train our workers on granite counter fabrication including cutting and quality. Since then, our output has increased significantly, resulting in a five-time revenue increase over three fiscal years.”
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Director, Business Development
Northern Development Initiative Trust