Benita Pedersen, Business Analyst and Project Coordinator for Community Futures Tawatinaw Region spoke to Rotary members and guests at their Apr. 1 breakfast meeting.
Pedersen said their office is located in Westlock but they meet with clients and businessed in a large area that covers an area that includes Morinville, Sturgeon County, Thorhild, Athabasca, Calling Lake, Slave Lake. They may also eventually cover St. Albert.
Pedersen said Community Futures is an opportunity lender with flexible planning options which differentiates them from banks.
They are funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada and only invest in rural Alberta. They can offer free business counselling for the first four hours and look at the potential of the business, the market and the payment plans. When people apply for a loan, the Board of Directors makes the final decision. Pedersen said $300,000 is the maximum Community futures can lend with some exceptions. Most loans seem to fall in the $10,000 to $20,000 range.
They are a non-profit organization with a volunteer board of directors, which includes MS Slave Lake, The Towns of Bon Accord, Gibbons, Legal, Morinville, Westlock, Village of Boyle and Counties of Athabasca, Thorhild and Westlock.
– Lucy Roy Photo