Kathy Lindsay

Kathy Lindsay is the Board Chair at Community Futures (CF) Newsask. She has occupied this voluntary position for a year and a half.

Being chair of the CF Newsask office involves chairing all board meetings as well as providing business support when and where needed. Kathy says, “We have a very good CEO and board and the organization seems to operate very smoothly with minimal direction.”

Kathy finds that niche markets are a growing rural business sector. Smaller meat shops and market gardens, for example, are establishing a dominant position as players in their specific niche. These small businesses realize that no large retailer can be all things to all people. They are penetrating specific markets, reaching segments of the population whose needs for a particular product or service are unmet.

There are several small businesses taking advantage of the COVID-19 health regulations which require people to meet in small gatherings. Businesses are offering recreational activities that can be done in smaller groups. Like most rural businesses at this time, entrepreneurs in the Newsask region are moving towards online shopping options.

Kathy observed that the uncertainty in the early stages of the pandemic led to fewer new business support applications. “People were being cautious, which is good but I have noticed new applications are once again coming in for board approval.”

Kathy has been surprised by the number of innovative applications Community Futures receives from determined entrepreneurs. The CF Newsask board has opted not to meet with prospective clients, allowing the CEO to develop a close relationship with them. Taylor, the CEO, then submits proposals over his loan approval limit for board review.

However, over the years Kathy has met several clients. Countless clients are very happy with the support they have received from the programs offered by the CF Newsask office. She believes that the next five years will see more rural businesses approaching Community Futures for lending opportunities. She says, “I believe we will continue to have a strong role to play helping new innovative businesses get started.”

“Many of our communities remain strong based on the skills we bring to the various organizations. People of the northeast have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and the drive to make things happen given the opportunity.” Keeping the success of rural entrepreneurs in mind helps keep Kathy motivated to continue doing her community work.

Kathy is a lifelong learner who enjoys learning new things to keep her mind stimulated. She loves reading, volunteering and pursuing anything that involves computers.

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