Taylor Watt

Taylor Watt is the CEO at Community Futures (CF) Newsask, where he oversees the day-to-day operations while keeping in close contact with the board of directors.

Taylor gets quite passionate when he describes the resourcefulness and creativity that rural businesses in this region continue to show through the highs and lows of setting up successful enterprises. As key commodity prices fluctuate, rural entrepreneurs find innovative ways to continue to make on-demand products.

The Newsask office has over 60 businesses in their portfolio and Taylor is confident that these entrepreneurs will thrive even as they navigate the challenges of doing business during a pandemic. “Rural Saskatchewan has been through some tough times in the course of our history; COVID-19 is another tough time that we will overcome.”

Because of COVID-19 physical distancing regulations, more rural businesses are embracing e-commerce. Taylor notes that small business owners are doing this in a way that “opens up online shopping options while remaining authentic and local.” The community feel and personal touch of rural businesses distinguish them from major retail chains.

Despite the challenging times, Taylor believes rural businesses will grow if they are able to pivot and restructure how their businesses operate. “Rural businesses that will make it are the ones that can regroup and keep their overhead as low as they can,” says Taylor.

CF Newsask offers a wide range of programs and lending options to support small businesses wherever they are on their entrepreneurship journeys. They support both non-profit and for-profit businesses in order to contribute to building vibrant rural communities.

The work that Community Futures does in the region contributes to job creation and generating profits that are injected back into rural economies. Taylor has witnessed entrepreneurs grow their ideas with minimal funding and develop into dynamic businesses that generate million-dollar revenues.

“I have confidence in rural Saskatchewan’s entrepreneurship spirit,” says Taylor. He finds his work rewarding when he gets to help business owners pursue their goals without the added stress of “figuring out what’s going on.”

When he is not working with the CF Newsask team, Taylor’s daughter keeps him busy. He also enjoys golf in summer and hockey in winter.

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