CF Saskatchewan Blog

5 Reasons to Support the Future of Rural Communities in Canada (Sign Our Petition If You Agree!)

  • February 6, 2018
  • Written by Community Futures Saskatchewan

At Community Futures, we’ve spent more than 30 years supporting entrepreneurs in rural communities across Canada. Our dedicated group of 3,000 volunteers and 1,300 staff members specializes in helping aspiring small business owners pursue their dreams and be their own bosses, while simultaneously boosting the local economy and generating more employment opportunities in neighbourhoods from coast-to-coast!   

If you agree that Community Futures can and should continue to offer Canada’s rural entrepreneurs and small business owners with the skills, training, and capital they need to succeed in today’s competitive global marketplace, we ask that you join us in signing Community Futures' petition in order to renew resources and modernize our program.

Our impact is unquestionable, but we want to do so much more, which is why we’re requesting your voice of support and vote of confidence to expand our contributions across the country. Below are just a few examples of the ways our loans, advice, and support have made a difference.

  1. A track record of cultivating successful entrepreneurs

As a community staple since 1985, we have spent decades serving aspiring and current business owners in rural areas around Canada. Many of the entrepreneurs that we assist—whether it be with small business loans, business planning, marketing, or otherwise—build successful companies that enable them to design the lives they want. 

Lucy Fouasse took the prize money awarded to her by Community Futures’ Just Watch Me! Video Contest to cultivate Lil’ Steps Miniatures & Wellness Farm, an equine facilitated wellness facility for children and youth. She now spends every day sharing her passion for miniature animals while helping those with mental health and human development needs around Manitoba.

Caroline and James Hewson of Hewson’s Enterprises, a repair shop for everything mechanical, utilized Community Futures’ services to get their business off the ground and expand to a second location. With a string of successful ventures under their belts, they are planning on expanding into the renewable energy market!

These triumphant stories are not flukes; they are just two demonstrations of Community Futures’ track record of success when it comes to helping local business owners build their companies and their ideal lives. You may not know Lucy, Caroline, and James personally, but you surely know people like them: innovative, entrepreneurial people who want to make a difference in their communities (we may even be describing you!).

At Community Futures, our aim is to continue serving these incredible people and positioning them for entrepreneurial success for decades to come!

  1. Providing resources to rural, underserved areas

Rural communities frequently do not have access to the same resources as large metropolitan areas. Community Futures is specifically designed to address this inequality, providing resources to rural areas outside of major metropolitan zones.

This includes:

  • Small business loans
  • Tools such as business plans, information about sales and marketing best practices, and financial planning guides
  • Hands-on training at our many locations around the country
  • Special programs involving young entrepreneurs, indigenous peoples, and more

With more than 260 regional offices across Canada—spanning from British Columbia to Nunavut to Newfoundfand—small business owners are sure to find one in their area. In many of these rural areas that we serve, Community Futures is among the very few resources designed to assist entrepreneurs at the highest level, making our programs absolutely essential within countless communities.

Take it from Joan Hallberg Mayer, who opened her bookkeeping, consulting, and coaching company in 2016 with the help of Community Futures. “Sometimes it’s really intense trying to figure everything out when starting a small business. You’re unfamiliar with this entrepreneurial world and hoping everything comes together. Community Futures leveraged all of the resources and experience at their disposal and gave me everything I needed. They helped me bring the entire picture together and make my business flow. It was absolutely amazing!”

  1. Improved local economies and quality of life for all

More successful businesses result in communities with more stable, thriving economies. Canada’s 1.14 million small businesses employ 8.2 million people and were responsible for nearly 88% of the country’s job growth between 2005 and 2015. Additionally, an average of 30% of Canada’s GDP comes from small businesses!

The results are not only obvious on a national scale, but the local level as well. Thriving entrepreneurs and companies result in better neighborhoods for all. Small businesses provide jobs and essential services that can be difficult to come by in rural areas, and flood local economies with money that can improve schools, infrastructure, the environment, and quality of life.

For example, Deborah Bradshaw started Dog Creek Spa & Kennel because she noticed that her area had a population of 15,000 people and a dog in every three households, but only a single kennel with 20 dog beds. She reached out to Community Futures to start her business in order to help the many dog owners in the local area and ensure that their pets were being taken care of. This means that families can now go on vacation without worrying about their furry loved ones!

Overall, a greater number of successful companies like Deborah’s leads to thriving families and neighborhoods. That is what drives Community Futures’ teams of volunteers to do what they do every day!

  1. Helping entrepreneurs with disabilities

Entrepreneurship can be an ideal career path for people with health conditions. Not only does it allow those with disabilities to create a customized schedule and environment that fits their needs, but entrepreneurship also frequently leads to increased confidence and a rewarding sense of accomplishment.  

Yet, many of Canada’s 6 million citizens with disabilities struggle to find the business assistance they need. We think that they deserve better. Our year-round programs designed to help entrepreneurs with ongoing health conditions address this need within local communities by providing funding, specialized training, mentorship, and more!

  1. Assistance to those rejected by traditional financial institutions

As a non-profit program, Community Futures focuses on providing the greatest value, not making the greatest amount of money. This enables us to assist entrepreneurs with limited financial means who may otherwise be turned away from essential business resources. Often this takes the form of small business loans that provide entrepreneurs the helping hand they need to open their doors.

Harlan Lapointe has seen this firsthand. When traditional financial institutions turned him away, he came to Community Futures for a business loan to purchase the tools, vehicles, and equipment needed to launch a roofing and restorations company. After receiving much-deserved funding, Harlan has built a successful business with a 99% satisfaction rate!

If you believe that entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and financial means—entrepreneurs like

Lucy, Caroline and James, Joan, Deborah, and Harlan—deserve our service and attention, please click the link below to sign our petition. Together, we can help your community and its small business owners thrive!

Click here to sign Community Futures’ petition for greater resources!