The province is helping a rural Nova Scotia company cultivate a bigger share of the export market. Economic Development Minister Richard Hurlburt announced today, Jan. 30, a $1-million loan to Doug Bragg Enterprises Ltd. to support expansion of the harvesting equipment into new markets in Quebec and the eastern United States. “Increasing exports from Nova Scotia is vital to the continued growth of our economy,” said Mr. Hurlburt. “We are investing in an innovative, rural Nova Scotia company and helping them explore new export opportunities and enhance their product development.” Doug Bragg Enterprises Ltd. is located in Collingwood, Cumberland Co. and manufactures blueberry harvesters and related production equipment. Recent innovations to the manufacturing process has allowed the company to develop a more efficient handling system for their harvesters that reduces costs. Carl Bragg, owner and president of Doug Bragg Enterprises Ltd. said an approach by a Quebec company to buy them out showed him there were opportunities for market growth. “New technology and better equipment have allowed us to shift our focus to more markets outside Nova Scotia. Mechanical harvesting is relatively new in Quebec and I see significant sales opportunities for both Quebec and the U.S. market,” he said. The company will use the loan to top up their working capital to take advantage of new sales opportunities. Doug Bragg Enterprises Ltd. also developed a mechanical cranberry harvester intended for dry picking with little waste or damage to the crop. The equipment has been field-tested at farms in southern Maine and should be a valuable tool for the cranberry industry. The loan is fully repayable over 12 years and is provided by the Industrial Expansion Fund. The fund offers a variety of financial assistance to help the province’s economy. Over the past two years, it has helped create or maintain more than 3,000 jobs in the province and has a return on investment of three dollars for every dollar spent.