PICTOU, Nova Scotia—Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. has completed the phase-out of nearly all tire production at its plant in Pictou County, as outlined by the company in March 2014.
The plant, opened in 1971, continues as an integral part of Michelin Canada's operations, the firm said, as the site of major rubber mixing operations, a high-performance tire production line, a membrane production and as home to the company's corporate administrative offices.
Michelin said in March 2014 it was phasing out all but high-performance tire product at the site because of a continuing shift in the North American car tire market to larger size tires and the limits of the existing plant. Michelin did not elaborate on what lines or sizes of tires are still being produced nor the plant's reduced capacity.
At that time, Michelin targeted 500 positions for elimination. Of those affected, Michelin said more than 200 opted to retire, about 100 chose to relocate to other Michelin operations in Nova Scotia and the rest opted for severance packages to take on new positions elsewhere or to return to school.
The last phase of this draw-down was completed this past July 1, leaving roughly 600 employed at the Pictou plant.
At the same time, Michelin introduced Michelin Development—a $6 million program that provides low-interest loans to small businesses to create jobs in the community—to the Antigonish, Colchester and Pictou County communities.
Since it was launched in spring 2014, more than 18 businesses have secured loans totaling $1.2 million from the Michelin Development partners of Bergengren Credit Union, Northern Opportunities For Business Limited, Guysborough CBDC and Michelin Development, Michelin said.
These businesses—including one retail tire shop and one auto repair shop—have created 40 new jobs, with a potential for up to 97 jobs. Recent loan recipients include a commercial and residential plumbing company to a bakery and cafe.
New and existing small business owners interested in submitting a business proposal to Michelin Development are invited to visit michelindevelopment.ca for more information.
According to the site, Michelin Development loans are up to $300,000 with no minimum, at the prevailing prime interest rate plus 2 percent. Terms are up to five years, plus the first six months are interest only.
Over its eight-year history in North America, Michelin Development has helped 100 small businesses with $8.7 million in loans, and the company claims it has been instrumental in creating more than 1,500 jobs.