Press Releases

Provincial winners of the 15th edition of the SMEs of the National Bank

Montreal, 10 November 2008 -

National Bank Financial Group unveiled the names of the provincial winners of the 15th edition of the SMEs of the National Bank recognition program at a gala held last Friday evening.

The awards ceremony took place in Montreal and was attended by more than 200 people, including the finalists, National Bank representatives and leaders of the business community. The following companies earned top honours:

In the Small Business category, the GOLD award winner is Les Habitations Mont-Carleton inc. Les Habitations Mont-Carleton creates, builds and delivers pre-fab housing, including the innovative Nomadeck, a foldable and transportable chalet. The company was founded by determined young Gaspé Peninsula residents who wanted to create their own business in the Carleton-sur-Mer region.

In the SME category, the GOLD award winner is Fafard & Frères ltée. A leader in its field, Fafard et Frères of Saint-Bonaventure develops and markets peat moss, compost, fertilizer and mulch made from natural ingredients. This family business with more than 200 employees caters to both professional and amateur gardeners.

In the Agribusiness SME category, the GOLD winner is Réal Pinsonneault et fils (2004) ltée. Founded in 1989 in Saint-Michel by agriculture enthusiasts, the Réal Pinsonneault et fils farm prides itself on offering its clients top quality potatoes and beans. It also offers a packaging and delivery service that is second to none.

In the Export SME category, the GOLD award winner is Société des Technologies de l’Aluminium du Saguenay inc. Aluminum holds no secrets for this Chicoutimi-based company which, with its 135 employees, designs, builds, installs and markets equipment and processes for electrolysis plants and aluminum foundries worldwide.

The four provincial GOLD winnerswill benefit from a visibility campaign in the major dailies belonging to the Réseau Probec. They also each received a $5,000 financial planning mandate offered by National Bank Trust and a $1,500 prize to organize a recognition activity to underscore their employees’ contribution to their success courtesy of National Bank Financial. In addition, they each received a laptop courtesy of IBM Canada Ltd., a BlackberryTM smartphone offered by Bell Canada, and a National Bank PREMIA MasterCard business card with a $1,000 credit balance. Lastly, the winners in the Export SME category received an invitation from Export and Development Canada to visit their head office in Ottawa.

Canada’s economic growth depends, in large part, on the financial health and drive of SMEs. National Bank Financial Group is known as one of the most engaged financial institutions in the SME market, particularly in Quebec. Our business clients can call upon us to support them in every step of their development, from start-up to transfer.

In order to meet their evolving needs and ensure their continued success, we have established teams of experts at the Bank and its subsidiaries who work with clients to satisfy all their financial requirements. National Bank also has specialized advisors in specific sectors of activity, including television and film production, high technology, agriculture and agrifood, energy, forestry and health and life sciences.

Selection process and partnerships
The winners in the Small Business, SME and Agribusiness SME categories were selected from among the regional finalists based on a number of criteria, such as their competence, their drive and the excellence of their human resources management. The winners in the Export SME category were chosen from provincial finalists who were selected for their recent export success. All the winners were selected by a panel made up of individuals from the business community who followed a rigorous selection process overseen by the professional services firm Samson Bélair/Deloitte & Touche.

Photos of the event are available on request. Please contact Valérie Lamarre at 514-394-5000, ext. 2393.

About National Bank of Canada
National Bank of Canada is an integrated group which provides comprehensive financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations in its core market, while offering specialized services to its clients elsewhere in the world. National Bank offers a full array of banking services, including retail, corporate and investment banking. It is an active player on international capital markets and, through its subsidiaries, is involved in securities brokerage, insurance and wealth management as well as mutual fund and retirement plan management. National Bank has close to $122 billion in assets and, together with its subsidiaries, employs 17,232 people. The Bank’s securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA:TSX). For more information, visit the Bank’s website at www.nbc.ca.

Information (The telephone number provided below is for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives.):

Denis Dubé
Senior Manager – Public Relations Department
National Bank Financial Group
Tel.: 514-394-8644