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Supporting Canada’s 267 Community Futures organizations

Community Futures Network of Canada

About Community Futures. We operate 267 non-profit offices across Canada that provide small business services to people living in rural communities. Each office delivers small business loans, tools, training and events for people wanting to start, expand, franchise or sell a business. Read some success stories or click on your province (above) to find the nearest office. About the Community Futures Network of Canada (CFNC). Our association actively supports Canada’s 267 member offices. We are guided by a Board of Directors made up of Community Futures representatives from across the country.

According to the CFNC Bylaws, the class of CFNC Members are divided into five groups of Members:

  • the “Atlantic Group” composed of Associations from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • the “Quebec Group” composed of the Association from Quebec;
  • the “Ontario Group” composed of the Association from Ontario;
  • the “Western Group” composed of Associations from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia; and
  • the “Territories Group” composed of Associations from Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut

The current CFNC Board of Directors is composed of:

  • Line Doiron (Atlantic)
  • Gaitan Michaud (Atlantic)
  • Hélène Deslauriers (Quebec)
  • Daniel Dumas (Quebec)
  • Garry McKinnon (Ontario)
  • Kevin Jackson (Ontario)
  • Linda Martin (Territories)
  • Patty Hughes (Western)
  • Jason Denbow (Western)

Board of Directors Advisors (non voting):

  • Colette Close, Project Manager, Community Futures Pan West
  • Diana Jedig, Executive Director, Community Futures Ontario
  • Basil Ryan, Chief Operating Officer, Atlantic Association of CBDCs

Want to know more about our network? Get in touch. The CFNC is engaged in three main areas:

advocacyWe work with national decision makers to ensure the long-term sustainability of Community Futures. We initiate cost-saving programs and progressive policies to maximize the impact of our members’ efforts.

Through the direction of its Representation Committee, the Community Futures Network of Canada (CFNC) is focused on offering strong representation of the Community Futures Program to the Government of Canada and other targeted audiences. This mandate is accomplished by providing up-to-date information related to the National Community Futures Program – its impacts, successes, and best practices – to specific targeted groups. Also, with the assistance of a variety of ad-hoc committees, the CFNC continuously evaluates and explores ways and means that common CF/CBDC initiatives can be worked on collectively on a national basis so that local CF/CBDCs are able to gain some efficiencies and economies of scale.

toolsWe provide a wide range of member services including specialized professional development and training and group discounts.

With the assistance of its Best Practices Committee, a key focus of the Community Futures Network of Canada (CFNC) is to gather and share information online on a wide variety of new and improved CF initiatives, processes and practices that will provide benefit to both staff and volunteers of CF/CBDCs across Canada. Through its national website, as well as its best practices portal (CFNCZone), the CFNC is able to offer easy access to a wide range of tools and resources that have been developed, tested and successfully utilized by local groups throughout the country. To access the CFNCzone, please click here. In addition, the CFNC is currently working to roll out of a number of initiatives of benefit to the full range of CF/CBDC organizations at both the local and provincial/territorial levels, including a shared CF exchange email platform, a national Bell Mobility Program, a national reporting platform and a national toll free number.

collaborationWe actively work to gather and share information between Community Futures offices in the interest of building valuable links and networks that help us serve our clients better.

Communication and collaboration is the essence of the Community Futures Network of Canada (CFNC). Each year the CFNC produces an Annual Review that showcases some of the successes of the CF/CBDCs from across the country and documents the significant contribution that the Community Futures Program is making in starting and growing new businesses, as well as helping to revitalize Canada’s rural communities. The CFNC also produces, on a regular basis, its e-newsletter (the CFNCBuzz) that is designed to keep CF/CBDCs across Canada abreast of the latest news and developments from their national network. And every three years the CFNC organizes a national conference that brings together hundreds of Community Futures volunteers and staff from each province and territory to meet, share information and learn from each other about the incredible work that is being accomplished through the efforts of their local community organizations that are the backbone of the Community Futures Program of Canada.

Funding for Community Futures offices and the CFNC Network is provided by the Government of Canada’s Regional Development Agencies.

Careers

Each Community Futures office employs a number of core staff positions, including a General Manager, Business Analyst, Community Economic Development Officer and Administrator. Brief descriptions for these positions are listed below. Community Futures core positions are supported by on-the-job and other forms of training that support career advancement locally and nationally. Check out the opportunities below or click on your province (above) for job openings.

There are no career opportunities at this time.

Core Position

Skill Requirements / Job Components

General Manager or Executive Director

Proven leadership experience as a developmental lender and working with not-for-profit boards.

Business Analyst / Business Officer

Expertise conducive to providing lending advice to and coaching/training for start-up and expanding small and medium-sized enterprises within targeted industry clusters.

Community Economic Development Officer

Expertise conducive to supporting and promoting entrepreneurial communities especially in the areas of identified industry clusters. CED Officers work in collaboration with Regional Economic Development Alliance or REDA staff and municipal economic development officers.

Administrator

Expertise conducive to managing bookkeeping and accounts receivable/payable, providing project management assistance, supporting CF board and management.

News

Press Release – May 2020

On behalf of the Community Futures Network of Canada and the 268 Community Futures Organizations located in rural areas and territories across Canada, we welcome Minister Joly’s announcement on the new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) of which $287M dollars have been allocated to the Community Futures Network.

This funding will be targeted towards rural businesses that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and have been unable to access existing support measures.

The Community Futures Program has been serving rural communities for over 30 years. Each office operates as an individual non-profit corporation, with its own volunteer board of directors and its own portfolio of lending products and services. This means that the local board takes into consideration additional factors that a traditional bank may not, and it means the application turnaround can be much faster and efficient.

The Community Futures Network looks forward to working with the Regional Development Agencies to deliver the funding to rural businesses as quickly and efficiently as possible.

To learn more about the financing and business support services available through Community Futures organizations, please contact your local or provincial Community Futures organization for details. To access contact information for each provincial/regional Community Futures organization, please visit communityfuturescanada.ca and select your province.

Press Release – April 2020

On behalf of the Community Futures Network of Canada and the 268 Community Futures Organizations located in rural areas and territories across Canada, we applaud the Prime Minister’s announcement from Friday, April 17th where $287M dollars have been allocated to the Community Futures Network.

This funding will be allocated towards smaller employers and businesses located in rural parts of the country who do not qualify for the recently announced wage subsidy or loans or still need assistance in managing their operations through these challenging times.

As Canadians work together to limit the spread of COVID-19, the severe financial impacts of the pandemic and physical distancing measures have been particularly challenging for rural communities and the small businesses that they rely on to provide essential goods and services. The loss of one of these businesses in a small community, where there are no other local options, can be devastating. And we know that some of the greatest impacts, in seasonal industries like tourism, are yet to come.

That’s why we are so appreciative of the supports announced today by Prime Minister Trudeau.

The higher operating costs faced by rural small businesses and the smaller markets that they serve mean that the current loss of revenues is felt harder, and that their road to recovery will be longer and more challenging. The funds announced today will go a long way towards making that road easier to travel.

2018 Community Futures National Event – Winnipeg, Manitoba

June 6th Keynote Address – Jon Montgomery

June 6th Plenary Session – The Future of Community Futures

June 7th Keynote Address – Graham Sherman

Awards

Ontario

Each year CF Ontario celebrates achievers in a number of different categories. This year (2017), the following projects were selected from more than 20 nominees:

  • Eccelstone Horse Transport – Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Community Paramedic Remote Patient Monitoring Program – Award of Excellence in Innovation
  • Bears’ Lair Entrepreneurial Competition – CED Award of Excellence

Community Futures Ontario
Entrepreneur of the Year

Community Futures Ontario
Innovation Award of Excellence

Community Futures Ontario
CED Award of Excellence

Newfoundland & Labrador

Each year, the Newfoundland & Labrador Association of CBDCs honors one of their member’s clients as the Newfoundland & Labrador CBDC Business of the Year. This year, Dandy Dan’s Seafoods of Placentia, Newfoundland was named CBDC NL Business of the Year 2017.

Contact us

Community Futures Network of Canada
300 South Edgeware Road
St. Thomas, ON N5P 4L1

Executive Director: Lindsay Hugenholtz Sherk
T: 1.888.633.2326, ext. 5
Email: admin@communityfuturescanada.ca

We look forward to helping you