Featured Businesses

Island's Edge Contracting Ltd.

Dylan Shaw

I went in to talk to the folks at Community Futures and they seemed really open to my idea.  They liked the fact that I had a lot of experience running equipment, had some certification.  From there it was a fairly easy process, located the excavator I wanted to buy.  So I did some shopping online and found the right excavator for me, the one I felt was right for my business.  I contacted Community Futures again and let them know what I was looking at and it was all a fairly easy process.  We have been up and running for almost two years now.  The first year was so busy just trying to put all the odds and ends together, get all my tools and so busy that we didn’t have much time to pay attention to the finances. 

At the end of the day it was well worth it.  Since the first year it has been getting better.  I went away to school to get ticketed to run heavy equipment in 2008.  I stuck with equipment operating since then working for my Dad’s company.  I wanted a little bit more freedom in the jobs I do, scheduling and being my own boss.  I always wanted to work for myself.  It’s a good place to start, doing yard jobs and before I put too much investment in my small business, start small and I can grow from there. 

We into the bank and they didn’t seem too open to the idea, even though we had relatively good credit.  They [the bank] didn’t seem too interested.  They didn’t want to put themselves out there or follow up with us.  That made us not too interested in doing business with them.  We heard through word of mouth from other small businesses that have gone through Community Futures, everything we heard was positive.

Community Futures has been there whenever we have questions, even if we have something small there is always somebody to talk to there at the office.   We can get appointments within two or three days’ notice which is always nice, even drop in if we feel the need. 

 

Dylan Shaw,
Owner/Operator
Island’s Edge Contracting Ltd.

 

 

 

Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort

Murray Family

We’re in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia.  In 1981, my Dad started Nimmo Bay with my Mom and it was a tiny little float house, no power, no electricity, kerosene lanterns and wood stove.  My dad started it to keep the family together and something for the family to do.   To this day it is all about family and bringing people in to experience the wilderness in a family setting, so you feel like you are coming home.

Back in the day, started with little tin boats with 20 horse Johnson on the back.  I was guiding at seven, my dad was guiding.  We’d take people out in the salt water fishing and trolling for salmon.  Then Peter Barratt came along in 1983 and we started helicopter fishing.  Back in 1981 my Dad and Mom wanted to start a fishing lodge and they really didn’t have an idea about where it was going from there.  It was just work hard and put your face to the grindstone and see what happens.  With a lot of hard work and a lot of luck, eventually they made it here to where they are 30 years later, an adventure wilderness resort.  For the first twenty years it was a fishing resort only and then since I have taken it over we have diversified into more wilderness adventure products.  Keeping fishing as a core of what we do. I have been trying to step into the past ten years at least, there was some resistance from my Father.  Family business its own dynamic and at times a bit challenging.  So I had my ideas and he had his ideas and he saw the place as a fishing lodge and I never really wanted to take over a fishing lodge.  I wanted something more, something with more moving parts and to take advantage of everything that we have on our doorstep.  Because I saw so many opportunities with the wildlife and the fishing, to the hiking, exploration and just being nature itself. For this new boat we designed a new program called the Wilderness and Wildlife Adventure.  With the boat we leave here everyday and we go explore unchartered territories, seeing killer whales, grizzly bears, black bears, and tuna fishing and whatever your imagination can come up with we can accommodate with this new boat.

We needed a new boat because we were down a boat and we started looking for this new boat and we realized that we went from replacing the boat to getting an actual new boat that could accommodate all of these new programs.  That’s when Community Futures came in, my Dad went down to the office and then walked out basically with a cheque.  It wasn’t that simple but in my mind that’s how I remember it.  No fuss, it was amazing experience.  Community Futures it is a personal relationship, the traditional banks have gone away from that.  You don’t know who you are dealing with.

When you are dealing with Community Futures you are dealing with someone in your hometown, they can come out see what you are doing.  You can go down to the office, meet with them, they can share in your dream, you can bounce ideas back and forth and together you can grow the community and the experience.

I think one of the biggest benefits is that they are trying to bring community members together, businesses, friends and build partnerships.  Whether it is West Coast Helicopters, a new wasabi farm in Sointula and helping suppliers, come together and create a better product at the end of the day, a better service in keeping things local.  I think that is very important in this day and age. 

Fraser Murray,
Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort

 

 

 

West Coast Helicopters

Peter Barratt, Owner, Operations Manager and Vice-President

We have 16 aircraft between Nanaimo, Campbell River, Bella Coola and Port McNeill on the BC Coast serving British Columbia as a whole along with other parts of Canada.  We do everything you could imagine with a helicopter.

The best job we have is at Nimmo Bay; Heli Ventures and Heli Fishing.  Part of the Nimmo Bay adventure is basically where we get up on top of a mountain for a champagne, wine lunch, unbelievable food, vistas are incredible.  We also do Heli Fishing.  We get people from all over the world who come up here and that day you’ll catch 20 to 50 fish.  We just have so much fun out here ourselves, fortunately for the guests they have to join us.

The interesting thing with the relationship with Community Futures is just that it is about a relationship.  And not being a business minded individual initially, after you have been in it 30-40 years you learn.  We did and we found that working locally with people we knew was much preferable to working downtown with people from banks.

Community Futures came along and helped us out with a recent purchase of another helicopter company.  So once again it is all about relationship building. They know us and we know them.  They know the work we’ve done with Nimmo Bay, they know the contracts, they know we are as good as our word and all of the above.  So as far as I am concerned, Community Futures is top drawer.  We have a tremendous respect for Community Futures and we like to think that they do with us as well.  We like to think that it paid off with Community Futures and it certainly has paid off for us.

 

 

Port McNeill Shake and Shingle Ltd.

Linda Minihan

North Vancouver Island has some of the best cedar of anywhere in the province. This fact wasn’t lost on Linda Minihan when she took over Port McNeill Shake & Shingle in 2007, with help from EcoTrust Canada and Vendor Financing.  “We are close to some of the best cedar in the province,” says Minihan. “It is better that the mill is kept in Port McNeill rather than be in the Lower Mainland.” She says it “just makes sense” to have jobs at the timber source.

Minihan salvages much of her cedar supply from the forest areas that were logged decades earlier. The cedar logs may be salvaged, but the final product ends up in high-end homes in the U.S. Not a bad business model. The salvage model still requires a high degree of efficiency to move the cedar from the woods by helicopter to a roadside and then onto trucks to get it to the mill. 

This is a company that has faced significant adversity. In 2009 the housing market crashed in the U.S. resulting in a major downturn in all Canadian made building products, including Minihan’s cedar shakes and shingles.  The recession could have easily ended the operations of Port McNeill Shake & Shingle. But it didn’t. On June 2, 2009 more adversity struck the mill when a fire ripped through the main structures of the mill destroying their production site.  On the tail of the recession, the prospect of having to rebuild might have stopped anyone else in their tracks.  Not Minihan.  On the bright side the mill was totally re-built while also incorporating some equipment upgrades that improved efficiency. With the mill back up and running Linda approached Community Futures Mount Waddington in 2010 for a loan for working capital to purchase cedar logs while also easing her cash flow. Linda persevered by growing production revenues while maintaining tight cost controls.

In July 2012 Community Futures Mount Waddington assisted Linda once again by providing a loan to take out the vendor financing. Port McNeill Shake & Shingle is providing employment for 12 people in the small coastal community of Port McNeill. Linda Minihan’s determination and drive are key to the success of this small venture.

 

 

 

Bella Guest Cabins

Cliff & Ramona Starr

Bella Guest Cabins is located on the Central Coast of British Columbia in the community of Bella Bella.  We are nestled in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, and perched high on a hilltop - overlooking spectacular coastal mountain and ocean views.  We are located minutes from BC Ferries, the Bella Bella Airport, and boat launch access.   

Bella Guest Cabins offer two separate units for quiet, private overnight stays.  As the newest accommodations in Bella Bella, we have taken great pride in making this a friendly place to stay that is cozy, comfortable and tastefully decorated. The spacious decks boast a fantastic place to enjoy your morning coffee, and watch the eagles soar.  Each cabin offers all the comforts of home, with fully functional kitchenettes that enable guests to prepare their own meals.

Each unit  sleeps up to four (4) people, and has: one (1) bedroom with a queen size bed, plenty of closet space, bath/shower, fully functional kitchen (fridge, countertop stove-top, microwave, coffee maker, kettle, toaster, and all kitchen/cooking utensils), dining room table/chairs, arm chair, queen sofa sleeper, and a flat screen TV with satellite dish service.

As new entrepreneurs, we were very fortunate to receive support and guidance from Community Futures Mount Waddington.  The Business Analyst was instrumental in the development and fine tuning of our business plan.  With key advice on how to develop our concept, structure the business as a partnership, and develop a marketing plan that is specific to the needs of the community and customers that we serve. 

Without the financial assistance from CFMW, we would not have been able to become Small Business owners, and make our dreams come true.

 

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Communities Served

Alert Bay, Bella Bella, Coal Harbour, Echo Bay, Holberg, Kingcome Inlet, Klemtu, Port Alice, Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Quatsino, Rivers Inlet, Shearwater, Sointula, Telegraph Cove, Winter Harbour, Woss, Zeballos

CONTACT US

Community Futures Mount Waddington
14 - 311 Hemlock Street
Box 458
Port McNeill, BC
V0N 2R0

T: 250.956.2220
T: 877.956.2220
F: 250.956.2221