Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) across Ontario play a key role in administering government funding programs to startups and small businesses. In total, there are 60 CFDCs located across Ontario (36 in eastern and southern Ontario, 24 in northern Ontario) who have helped over 120,000 entrepreneurs with a variety of funding and business planning services.
One of these CFDCs was recently announced as recipients of over $1.6 million in funding to continue carrying out their business support and planning activities. The Superior East Community Development Corporation, representing northern Ontario communities such as Wawa, Dubreuilville, White River, and Chapleau, has received funds to support new and growing businesses in the region.
Businesses within the Superior East region of Ontario will be able to access the CFDC for a variety of programs and services. Keep reading this blog for more information about how CFDCs can boost your startup or small business’ success.
What do Community Futures Development Corporations Do?
The first few years of operation are the most critical years for any business. Startups and small businesses within Canada must build a sustainable, growth-oriented company in order to survive.
However limited cash flow is often weighing against entrepreneurs during the first few years of business. Small businesses are often capable in their ability to conceptualize and complete growth projects, but without funding these great ideas are often delayed or ignored entirely.
CFDCs solve this problem in two ways; provide repayable small business funding to extend cash flow, and provide support services (such as mentoring and coaching) to advise entrepreneurs on how to overcome obstacles to success.
In Ontario alone, businesses who engaged the help of a CFDC increased sales by an average of 10.8% per year (3.6% non-assisted firms), increased their survival rate to 84-88% through their first 5 years of business (64-66% non-assisted firms), grew faster, and hired a greater number of employees.
Business Support Services
Entrepreneurial spirit is high across Canada, however not all entrepreneurs have the same level of knowledge when it comes to developing a business. CFDCs provide a variety of business supports including:
- Business plan preparation guidance;
- Exporting resources;
- Entrepreneur training;
- Business counselling; and
- Documentation tips.
Startup Funding Programs
As the title of this blog would suggest, CFDCs also receive funding from the government to administer local investment funds. Startups and small businesses may receive up to $150,000 in repayable funding (Canadian government loans) to complete strategic growth projects.
A local board of directors control the distribution of funds, which can be a beneficial alternative as compared to other Canadian government funding programs that are not as regionally-focused.
How Can my Small Business Access CFDC Funding and Resources?
To get started with a local Community Futures Development Corporation, entrepreneurs are advised to contact their local CFDC office and arrange a meeting.
Although startups and early-stage businesses have limited access to Canadian government grants and loans, Mentor Works can help prepare these companies to become funding-ready. The easiest way to make your business eligible for Canadian government funding is to download Mentor Works’ Startup Funding Checklist. This list provides actionable steps your company can take to prepare itself for future success.