Recent History – 2001
Oct. 11, 2001
DAWSON CREEK — It’s a little-known fact that roughly 10 per cent of all jobs in rural B.C. are created through projects supported by a federally-supported, community-based program known as Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC).
It’s facts like these that the staff at the Community Futures Development Corporation of Peace Liard (CFDC-PL) want people to learn during Oct. 8-12, which is Community Futures Week in Dawson Creek.
A CFDC is a non-profit community economic development corporation committed to helping people who are either operating or planning to start their own business.
For example, the CFDC-PL helped to develop the North Peace Business Resource Centre in Fort St. John, the Business Care Program in Dawson Creek, the Northern Exposure Gift Company and leadership training for the whole region.
CFDC acts as a resource centre for entrepreneurs. It offers financial assistance through both the loans program and the self-employment program. It also provides high quality business skills training, business counselling as well as a business resource library with access to the internet.
Here’s a closer look at what the CFDC-PL has to offer:
Self employment program: This program helps people who are unemployed to start their own business, offering income benefits for up to 52 weeks as well as business management training and counselling for new entrepreneurs.
Since 1998, this program has assisted over 400 Peace Liard residents to start their business and has helped to create over 500 jobs.
To qualify, applicants must:
– Be currently on Employment Insurance or have an EI claim in the past three years or a parental claim in the past five years.
– Be unemployed.
– Reside in the Peace Liard region.
– Want to start a new business Ñ one that you have not had ownership of before.
– Have a controlling interest in the proposed business.
– Be legally entitled to work in Canada.
– Propose a business concept that would be suitable for public funding.
– Provide a complete and comprehensive business plan that demonstrates the potential for long-term employment creation.
As a pre-requisite to the self employment program, there is the pre-entrepreneurial program, which provides five days of intensive training in fundamental business skills.
These workshops run once a month in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek and quarterly in Fort Nelson, Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd.
Loans program: This program can help finance any viable business venture with both expansion and start-up financing up to $125,000.
Eligibility for loans is determined by assessing the management, ability to repay, personal financial commitment, security and employment creation.
In addition to the Entrepreneurial Investment Fund, CFDC-PL also offers loan funds targeting forest-based businesses, young entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs with disabilities.
Interest arts are available at prime plus five per cent and flexible payment schedules can be created with no penalty for early payment.
The Youth Loan Fund offers loans of up to $25,000 to youth aged 18-29, and is meant to help spur entrepreneurial initiative among the younger generation in the Peace Liard region.
How to apply: Applications are available at the Community Futures office. Eligible applicants will attend, free of charge, an information session that includes a review of how to prepare a business plan. Once completed, submit it to the Community Futures’ office along with your application form.
Since 1986, Community Futures has loaned over $10 million to over 400 businesses in the Peace Liard, creating or maintaining over 1,850 jobs.
Canadian Technology Network: The Canadian Technology Network (CTN) links innovative companies to a wide range of technology and related business assistance.
With site-visits throughout the region, the CTN advisor monitors the advancement of northern technological development and research.
CTN provides companies with vital information and contacts to help them bring their technologies to market.
Contact the Dawson Creek office for more information.
Training and support: Training is fundamental to the success of every business. Community Futures, in response to the needs of its clients, provides qualified instructors and speakers on relevant topics.
Topics covered include: marketing and advertising, bookkeeping, business planning, time management, policies and procedures, customer service and business management.
Seminars and training sessions are offered on a regular basis in communities throughout the Peace Liard region.
Networking and mentoring opportunities are also available through Community Futures.
Business resource libraries are located on-site in both the Fort St. John and Dawson Creek CFDC offices.
The Dawson Creek office is located at 10425-10th St. Their phone number is 782-8748.