The largest employer in New Waterford is getting a boost from the province to invest in new technology and position it for future growth. Signature Styles Canada Corp. will receive $1.8 million through the Industrial Expansion Fund to strengthen its competitiveness with the purchase of a new call-centre system. “The province supports businesses that invest in technology and innovation and this company is investing $6 million in increased productivity and growth,” said acting Minister of Economic and Rural Development Bill Estabrooks. 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 would have a positive impact on the local economy and the community. “The company is focused on increased efficiency and profitability,” said Lisa Lavin, site director for Signature Styles. “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.” The four-year loan, which is payable from 2009 to 2012, requires the company to maintain employment at current levels to qualify for loan forgiveness. Signature Styles is an established company that 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, and contributes to a prosperous and sustainable business climate for Nova Scotia. The fund helps protect jobs and support businesses to be more competitive and sustainable. It provides financial support, such as loans and guarantees, when many traditional sources are reluctant to do so.