“We put a premium on being diverse and inclusive in every corner of our business because we know that it's not only the right thing to do, it's also smart business. It allows us to attract the most creative thinkers, the most innovative suppliers, and it gives us a competitive advantage in today's age of opportunity.”
– Robert Annis, Past-Chair
ENRICHING LOCAL ECONOMIES IN B.C.
Community Futures is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving local economies by helping rural Canadians start or expand their small businesses. It offers financing and supports that are not always available from traditional lenders. Community Futures British Columbia was established in 1992 to provide leadership and support to the network of 34 Community Futures offices in the province. It acts as their voice, promoting their services, linking them to government partners, facilitating meetings, and sharing best practices and career opportunities. Community Futures BC recognizes that diverse entrepreneurs bring value to their local economies. That’s why it offers specialized supports such as its Entrepreneurs with Disabilities program. It is also working with eSSENTIAL Accessibility to ensure easier web access by people with disabilities, providing assistive technology at no cost and removing online barriers.
Help for Small Business Owners
The staff at the Community Futures offices across B.C. work hard to ensure local entrepreneurs have the supports they need to thrive and to grow their businesses. They know that this, in turn, strengthens the local economy. Available assistance includes a streamlined lending process to expand or enhance a small business, help with financial statements, marketing plans and business analysis, valuable tips and advice, and links to other community resources.
Entrepreneurs With Disabilities
Community Futures believes that when it comes to running a business, having a disability shouldn’t matter. Yet entrepreneurs with disabilities or chronic health conditions often face obstacles to obtaining financing. The Entrepreneurs with Disabilities program (EDP) provides loans to business owners who have disabilities or ongoing health issues, for projects such as promotional materials and technology upgrades. It also offers specialized assistance such as skills coaching, business planning and independence guidance.
Community Futures BC and its local partners invest in a range of additional projects to help boost the resilience and success of communities. These include Invest Local BC, which raises project awareness and funds from multiple supporters; Venture Connect, which helps small businesses owners pass on their legacy by assisting both sellers and buyers through the acquisition process; and Imagine Kootenay, which promotes the benefits of doing business in the Kootenay region.