Les Mielke

Community Futures (CF) South Central’s service area extends over 31,000 square kilometers in Southern Saskatchewan and covers 32 rural municipalities, 40 urban municipalities and one Indigenous Community, serving a total population of 58,200.

CF South Central support services focus on three main avenues of assistance:

  • Small busines loans and financing options
  • Business counseling to new and existing businesses
  • Assistance with bookkeeping and payroll inquiries

We interviewed Les Mielke, who has been the CEO of CF South Central for the past 16 years, to gain an insight into the work the office does to serve this key rural community.

What does your day-to-day work involve?

Everything from loans to community development, client advisory services, daily management, board reporting, collections—the list goes on.

What sorts of trends do you see emerging in rural Saskatchewan businesses?

Although the economy is slow moving, there has been some development with some more businesses moving to e-commerce amid COVID-19 restrictions.

What has surprised you most about working with CF?

The general good nature of all the people involved.

How has the pandemic impacted your work?

The lockdown and destruction of the economy have adversely affected hard-working people and had negative effects on their business and families. We’ve seen a rise in additional hours of work and stress level in our clients.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren't working?

Golfing, fishing, playing hockey with the kids and coaching.

What keeps you motivated to do this work?

Helping people.

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