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July 3, 2024

The Business Advisory Centre will be moving to Community Futures Peterborough

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NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PETERBOROUGH, ON – June 24, 2024 – Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs will now be able to access funding and advisory services all in one place as Community Futures Peterborough announced it will begin delivery of services provided by the Business Advisory Centre (BAC).

“We couldn’t be more excited to offer a continuation of expert advisory services, as well as delivering Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) programs from the Community Futures Peterborough office,” says Devon Girard, Executive Director of Community Futures Peterborough. “We are thrilled entrepreneurs and business owners can access these additional services through our office door in Venture North.”

The BAC, a part of the Small Business Enterprise Centre program, funded by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, was previously operated by Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED).

“The Province of Ontario is thrilled to announce the continuation of the SBEC program serving our community for decades,” says Dave Smith, Peterborough – Kawartha MPP. “We are fortunate CFP and PKED are both committed partners to ensure this smooth transition and are grateful they are committed to continuing this program, allowing entrepreneurs the tools they need to start and grow their businesses,” MPP Smith added.

PKED and CFP have worked for years side by side to ensure entrepreneurs had access to the BAC programming including the development of business plans, market research, startup validation, and business expansion support. Many entrepreneurs would then come across the hall to Community Futures Peterborough to apply for a business loan. 40% of CFP’s current loan portfolio has worked with PKED through the BAC.

PKED has been working tirelessly to proactively identify solutions for the continuation of a regional SBEC, through consultation with the Province of Ontario and recognizes the value of CFP as a long-time partner and supporter of entrepreneurs. Today’s announcement aims to complement the years of work to ensure business owners receive expert advice with a seamless experience in the economic development ecosystem.

“As the region undergoes substantial changes to the way economic development services will be offered, it is our top priority to ensure that the needs of business are at the forefront,” said Rhonda Keenan, President & CEO of PKED. “Community Futures Peterborough is well-equipped to take on this important work, as we have always worked well together, sharing a substantial number of clients and an integrative referral system. We are proud to have had the opportunity to help so many businesses start and grow, and we remain committed to ensuring the continuity of the services we offer as the region’s Small Business Enterprise Centre and will continue to collaborate as CFP takes on this responsibility moving forward,” added Keenan.

CFP and PKED are both pleased to confirm the City and County of Peterborough have agreed to continue their financial commitment to support the operation of this valuable resource.
“The City of Peterborough is pleased to continue to partner with Peterborough County to support the Small Business Enterprise Centre as it transitions to Community Futures Peterborough,” says Jeff Leal, Mayor of Peterborough. “I’m thrilled that the team at Community Futures Peterborough will ensure that local small businesses and entrepreneurs continue to benefit from the essential supports that the SBEC provides.”

“Peterborough County is committed to ensuring a smooth transition of the Small Business Enterprise Centre in Peterborough,” says Warden Bonnie Clark. “Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and the SBEC provides essential support services to them and to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to set up in Peterborough County. We have full confidence in the team at Community Futures Peterborough and they have our full support as they take on this new responsibility.”

Entrepreneurs can leverage the resources available at the Business Advisory Centre to help start or grow their business. Guidance on topics such as how to register your business, write a business plan, or hire your first employee is available, along with expert business advisors to provide business counseling services and expansion support. In addition, advisory programs with a grant component including Starter Company Plus and Summer Company will be offered.

Community Futures Peterborough’s BAC will open applications for Starter Company Plus this fall and assume delivery of advisory services immediately, working closely with the team at PKED.

The announcement was made at today’s annual general meeting (AGM) of Community Futures Peterborough, which highlighted the success of the organization over the past year, notably the launch of ScaleUP, the Community Advancement Program, and the Climate Change and Environment Fund. The AGM also reported on the distribution of business loans totaling nearly $1.4 million; creating or maintaining almost 200 jobs locally. Additionally, Community Futures Peterborough delivered 43 workshops, conducted more than 132 in-depth interviews, and assisted another 121 non-loan client businesses.

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