Community Futures North Fraser
A few weeks ago, we spoke with Community Futures North Fraser about what they do for not only small businesses, but the community as a whole.
Now, more than ever... Community Futures is here to help businesses where they can. ..... Circulating in local social media of late is the discussion of what might be considered the best kept secret in Mission.
It’s Community Futures North Fraser.
Some of you may be familiar with their organization, some of you might have heard of them once or twice in passing… but most of you are going to be blown away by the support and generosity of this local, non-profit organization.
Community Futures North Fraser in a federally funded business consultant that works with YOU - whether you are thinking about starting a business, buying a business, expanding or trying to make changes. Over the past 30+ years, they have been there to support, advise and guide anyone who reaches out. From Mission up to Harrison / Agassiz. their consulting expertise and navigational skills run right up the North side of the Fraser River.
“We are here to support and encourage from the very beginning.” Michele Blackwell, their Business Analyst for 12 years, sat down with us to walk us through only a small percentage of the assistance they provide on a daily basis. “Everything from registering your business name to cash flow training, creating a business plan, market research, budgeting and a loans program.”
Gwen Atkinson, their Marketing Director, joined Community Futures after 10 years working with local credit unions and a strong background in working with small businesses.
“It frustrated me to see people come into the credit union with such fabulous business ideas,” Gwen explained to us, “only to see them walk out the door when they couldn’t receive proper funding, or the much needed training. I would always refer them to Community Futures, as I knew that they would be the ones to help start them off properly.”
Community Futures has provided financial support, as well as initial funding to numerous businesses in our community. When she was in the Credit Union system Atkinson saw the big gap in the startup process and knew that she was meant more for a position based on partnership, than one primarily based on sales.
Both Michele and Gwen light up when they recollect the businesses in our community that their assistance has directly impacted.
Community Futures is currently going through a transition. After 5 years at Welton Plaza, they are relocating one block up to a new location on 2nd Avenue.
The two ladies agree that it’s wonderful to be able to remain in the downtown core.