CBDC Cum­ber­land as­sists area en­trepreneurs with fund­ing, train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties

The Amherst News - - SMALL BUSINESS WEEK - By Dar­rell Cole dar­rell.cole@amher­st­news.ca

AMHERST – CBDC Cum­ber­land has been mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in the re­gion’s econ­omy for more than 35 years by not only help­ing small busi­ness come to life, but help­ing it ma­ture and grow.

CBDCs as­sist in the cre­ation of small busi­nesses as well as in the ex­pan­sion and mod­ern­iza­tion of ex­ist­ing busi­nesses by pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance and tech­ni­cal ser­vices to en­trepreneurs while also con­nect­ing them to coun­sel­ing and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“We sup­port small busi­nesses and en­trepreneurs in a va­ri­ety of ways from small busi­ness loans to en­trepreneur­ship train­ing,” CBDC Cum­ber­land ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Carys Wood said. “There are all sorts of en­trepreneur­ship train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able.”

Wood said one of the train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties her staff en­cour­ages en­trepreneurs to take is man­age­ment train­ing that cov­ers man­ag­ing the over­all busi­ness, not just the tech­ni­cal side of things.

“It gives them the skills to help grow their busi­ness,” she said. “It helps them un­der­stand all the el­e­ments in­volved in man­ag­ing a busi­ness, from un­der­stand­ing the fi­nan­cial state­ments, how to man­age staff and how to strate­gi­cally mar­ket their busi­ness.”

There’s a huge dif­fer­ence between pro­duc­ing a prod­uct as a sole pro­pri­etor and man­ag­ing the peo­ple who pro­duce it. This pit­fall some­times up­ends the busi­ness plan and can threaten the fu­ture of the busi­ness.

CBDC Cum­ber­land has ac­cess to a fund that it can pro­vide fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to small and medium-size busi­nesses wish­ing to take ad­van­tage of train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. This fund helps al­le­vi­ate the cost of train­ing.

There’s one-on-one coun­sel­ing for man­age­ment, mar­ket­ing and cre­at­ing an over­all di­ag­nos­tic of the busi­ness while there are also group train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“A lot of peo­ple find the net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties that came out of those ses­sions to be as ben­e­fi­cial as the train­ing it­self,” Wood said. “It helps to sit down and talk things out and meet other peo­ple.”

Fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance is not only avail­able to busi­ness start-ups, but also to en­trepreneurs look­ing to grow their busi­ness and for suc­ces­sion plan­ning. She said there are sev­eral loan pro­grams that can be tai­lored to the busi­ness needs.

It also of­fers the self-em­ploy­ment ben­e­fit pro­gram that al­lows an en­tre­pre­neur, who is on or has been on em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance over the last three years, to get fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance while grow­ing their busi­ness.

“It helps with house­hold in­comes while you start your busi­ness,” he said. “Rev­enues the busi­ness gen­er­ates can be put back into the busi­ness to help with start-up.”

There is also a pro­gram that helps busi­nesses use clean tech­nol­ogy such as so­lar power, geo­ther­mal or other clean en­ergy sources.

Wood said the CBDC’s train­ing fund in Cum­ber­land County is used fully ev­ery year and she said the or­ga­ni­za­tion is of­ten re­quest­ing ad­di­tional fund­ing. This shows the level of eco­nomic en­gage­ment in the re­gion.

The CBDC’s loans to­tal in ex­cess of $1 mil­lion each year.

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