Brenda Airth

Brenda Airth has been the office administrator at Community Futures (CF) Ventures for the past 15 years. She is the first person clients talk to when they call or visit the office and she makes an extra effort to make their experience a pleasant one. Her other duties include accounting, working on projects with the office in addition to formatting business plans and keeping the social media up to date.

In the last four years Brenda has seen an increased number of immigrants moving to the CF Ventures region and wanting to set up businesses in the community.  Supporting entrepreneurs is the Community Futures mandate with specific programs designed to support newcomers and/or long-term immigrants.

Community Futures are developmental lenders that provide assistance to businesses that other traditional lenders cannot.   CF’s can provide working capital, which is what startup companies need – especially in their first three to six months of operation.  Brenda remarks.

She has also witnessed the steady move towards social media marketing within rural businesses that would have previously relied on word of mouth or newspaper advertising. There has also been an increase in businesses trying out e-commerce avenues to sell their products online.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have significant human and commercial impacts on rural businesses. Small business owners in Saskatchewan have been challenged to rapidly shift operations, deploy new technologies and implement their business continuity plans in order to meet the needs of citizens, employees, customers and other stakeholders.

“In only a few months the impact of the pandemic has forced clients to reach out to us through email or phone calls. The workload increased with the need to update all our clients about the different services that are available to them during this pandemic.”

As the situation evolves, it is imperative that rural business owners continuously look to anticipate, adapt to, and manage risks and assess the appropriateness and completeness of their strategy.

In her down time, Brenda loves spending time with friends and family.

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