Sig­na­ture Styles re­ceives $1.8M pro­vin­cial loan

Cape Breton Post - - Business -

NEW WATER­FORD — The largest em­ployer in town is get­ting a $1.8-mil­lion loan from the prov­ince to in­vest in new tech­nol­ogy and po­si­tion it for fu­ture growth.

Sig­na­ture Styles Canada Corp. will re­ceive the four-year loan through the In­dus­trial Ex­pan­sion Fund to strengthen its com­pet­i­tive­ness with the pur­chase of a new call-cen­tre sys­tem. In re­turn, the com­pany is in­vest­ing $6 mil­lion and must main­tain cur­rent em­ploy­ment lev­els to qual­ify for loan for­give­ness.

“The com­pany is fo­cused on in­creased ef­fi­ciency and prof­itabil­ity,” site di­rec­tor Lisa Lavin said in a news release. “The faith the prov­ince has shown in our op­er­a­tion, in com­bi­na­tion with New Water­ford’s high-qual­ity labour force, means Sig­na­ture Styles has a strong fu­ture in New Water­ford.”

Sig­na­ture Styles re­cently ex­panded its tra­di­tional women’s cloth­ing cat­a­logue base to a web-based mar­ket­ing ap­proach. The lead­ing-edge tech­nol­ogy is ex­pected to in­crease the com­pany’s prof­itabil­ity, which will have a pos­i­tive im­pact on the lo­cal econ­omy and the com­mu­nity.

Sig­na­ture Styles has been in busi­ness for more than 100 years. It has op­er­ated a cus­tomer con­tact cen­tre in New Water­ford since 2003 and em­ploys about 350 peo­ple, with an an­nual pay­roll of $7.5 mil­lion. This pro­vides di­rect tax ben­e­fits to the prov­ince of about $600,000 an­nu­ally.

The In­dus­trial Ex­pan­sion Fund helps in­dus­tries with in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy fund­ing when tra­di­tional sources are re­luc­tant to do so.

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