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Island Coastal Community Futures Group

Community Futures is BC’s most important small business development organization, paving the way for diversified  local economies and job creation. Here in the Island Coastal Region we focus on rural community development and providing business financing to small to medium local businesses.  

We have a wide variety of services and tools available to help entrepreneurs and small to medium size business owners achieve their goals, including business support services, business planning advice, loans, and self- employment assistance.  Compared with other traditional source financing options, the businesses of Community Futures’ clients grow faster and last longer.

In our work, partnerships and community go hand in hand. We are here to assist in the growth and development of communities through facilitated planning, capacity building and leveraging both capital and strategic partnerships.


Community Futures' impact is more than financial. We build sustainable partnerships between businesses, government and community."



With a business plan in hand, Jean Geldert went to a local bank and opened a business account, thinking it would be easy to get a start-up loan.  It wasn’t.  “I am so appreciative of CF Central Island for their faith and their help which allowed me to fulfill  my ambition of opening my own company.”  I am so fortunate that I get to do what I love, and Community Futures helped me achieve that.”

~ Catalyst Home Staging and Design



The existing owner of Dave’s Glass was looking to retire and Richard and Vicki Nordentoft were the perfect fit  to purchase the business.  Richard had worked for Dave’s for 24 years and had the knowledge he required to operate the business. “CF Powell River was there for us. Even with stellar credit the banks shied away from helping us with the funds we needed for our new business.” Richard and Vicki were excited to revitalize the business and changed the name to PR GLASS.

~ PR Glass



Tim McGrady and Ryne Brockway own Farewell Harbour Lodge “When we went to CF Strathcona to get some assistance in helping us realize a dream to own a wildlife viewing lodge, they stepped up and mobilized a team of people who helped us make it happen. What impressed us the most was their can-do attitude, willingness to troubleshoot obstacles and the understanding of the challenges and red-tape that entrepreneurs face. Their team is a huge asset to the North Island economy.”

~ Farewell Harbour Lodge



Escape!Whistler began as a CF loan client in June 2016, employing 2 people. This new innovative business helped diversify the Whistler experience by providing visitors and locals with an indoor entertainment option that focused on challenging a team of people to navigate a themed room in a specific amount of time. One year later, they are a huge hit and employ 11 people. “A huge shout out of gratitude to CF Howe Sound for supporting Escape!Whistler. Our business would not be what it is today without the aid of this amazing group of people.”

~ Escape!Whistler



Leveraging funds is a key element of CF financing. Whether it is owner investment or partnering with other sources of financing, we look to maximize our financial impact.  In 2016, CF Mount Waddington was approached by the Business Development Bank of Canada to support a $1.5 million investment in West Coast Helicopters.  BDC brought $1.4 million to the table and we invested $100,000.  CFMW already had a financial relationship with West Coast Helicopters and could help with on-site monitoring. Leveraging works!

~ West Coast Helicopters



West Coast Pre-Fab has been a CF Cowichan client since 2005. They are a locally owned, family-run business on Vancouver Island that provide full service project management, industrial mechanical maintenance and installations, structural steel, fabrication and engineering. Projects include schools, colleges, warehouses, off buildings, retail centres and pulp/paper mills. West Coast Pre- Fab has grown from employing less than 10 people to more than 53 full-time and 100 part-time/ contract staff  many of which are high-paying professional and trades positions comprised of experienced millwrights, pipefi  ers, welders, and specialist trades.

~ West Coast Pre-Fab



Twenty-six buildings with improvements totaling over $600,000 are in the process of being approved for downtown revitalization. “The partnership with CF Alberni- Clayoquot has been critical to this program and its success,” said Pat Deakin, Economic Development Manager. “With their support, we’ve been able to develop a comprehensive program to meet our objectives and, most importantly, those of local businesses in providing incentives, advice and professional services to ensure their full participation and benefit. ”

~ City of Port Alberni



Opened in March 2017, Gibsons Public Market is a community project that inspires and promotes economic activities in the region and is a destination for Sunshine Coast residents and visitors to enjoy local food, fresh produce, and experience art and entertainment. The market provides space for community activities; workshops; a marine education centre; community kitchen and bistro. Founding partners, who transformed the former Gibsons Yacht Club into this year-round gathering place, are The Town of Gibsons, CF Sunshine Coast, and the Sunshine Coast. “Thank you to all the volunteers and donors who made the vision of the Public Market a reality for Gibsons and for the Coast,” states Mayor Wayne Rowe.

~ Gibsons Public Market



PDF version of this report: Island Coastal Community Futures Group Annual Report 2016-2017


Venture Connect Upgrades will help Businesses Operating Locally

Gazette Hamper Donation

The Community Futures team is happy to have kicked off the Gazette Hamper fundraising season with a donation of $3,750.

These funds were raised at CFMW's annual Barbecue Fundraiser The rain did not deter you and in the end we made 130 salmon and regular burgers!
Thank you so much everyone for your most generous donations! This is our best fund raising barbecue in the 7 years we've been doing this!
A special thanks goes out to Annie Leblanc who spearheaded our fundraising ef...forts and Sointula Wild Seafoods & Smokehouse for donating the processing of our Spring Salmon.
Another special thanks to West Coast Helicopters for donating a great raffle prize...a twenty minute helicopter tour! The raffle draw winners are.......Tracy Williams (Flora Borealis) and Gerry Little!
There are many other businesses that helped as well, so a special thanks to all of you!


2016 Volunteer of the Year Awarded

The commitment, vision and concern of our volunteers measure the success of community-based organizations like Community Futures. The annual Volunteer of the Year Award is given to an individual in each Community Futures office who has demonstrated outstanding service in the field of community and business development.

Dennis Swanson

Dennis is a long-time resident of the North Island.  Dennis, moved to Sointula 47 years ago, where he eventually raised his family. From there Dennis continued to work in the forest industry all over the central coast and North Island. Dennis has been a volunteer with Community Futures for several years, first serving on a Committee and then in 2015 joining the Board of Directors.  Dennis has a great deal of experience and knowledge of the North Island’s forest industry and he believes avidly in the potential of the industry and other economic development opportunities that can stem from it.  Dennis participates in his home community of Sointula as well.  He is a member of the Advisory Planning Commission and a past member of the North Island Community Forest Board.  

CanExport - new export program for Canadian Companies

Ministers of International Trade and Small Business and Tourism announce new export program for Canadian companies

January 5, 2016 - Kitchener, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, today announced CanExport, a new program that will provide $50 million to help Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises take advantage of global export opportunities.

CanExport is one of the building blocks of the government’s export strategy: it will help Canadian companies take advantage of opportunities abroad and increase their competitiveness, while creating jobs and growth at home.

CanExport will provide Canadian small businesses with matching contributions of between $10,000 and $100,000 toward export development costs. The new program will benefit hundreds of companies each year over the next five years.

CanExport was launched today at Communitech, an industry-led innovation centre that supports and fosters a community of nearly a thousand tech companies at all stages of growth and development, many of which will be able to take advantage of this new program.

To be eligible for the program, companies must employ fewer than 250 employees and have annual revenue in Canada of between $200,000 and $50 million. Eligible activities must promote export development and go beyond an applicant’s core activities, as well as represent new or expanded initiatives.


“CanExport is an investment in growing our economy, strengthening the middle class and helping those working hard to join it. I’m thrilled to begin 2016 with this new program that is a key part of our strategy to help Canadian companies succeed abroad. This program will enable small businesses in Canada to explore new opportunities, giving them an advantage in competitive and potentially lucrative new markets, while creating good-quality jobs at home.”

- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of International Trade

“CanExport is part of our plan to support small businesses that are seeking to become more productive, more innovative and more export-oriented. With this program, which is part of Canada’s trade strategy, we want to make it easier for small businesses to take advantage of government financing and export-oriented supports.”

- Hon. Bardish Chagger, P.C., M.P., Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Quick facts

  • Trade accounts for approximately 65 percent of Canada’s gross domestic product, with one in five jobs linked directly to exports.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses employ 10 million Canadians, nearly 90 percent of the total private sector workforce.
  • Over 99 percent of all Canadian businesses are small or medium-sized.
  • CanExport will be delivered by Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service, in partnership with the National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program.
  • Eligible CanExport costs include travel, participation at trade fairs, market research, adaptation of marketing tools for new markets and legal fees associated with distribution and representation agreements.


NISS Climbing Wall Supported by CFMW

Community Futures Mt. Waddington donated $1000 towards the new climbing wall that will be built at North Island Secondary School in Port McNeill.  Warren Beatty, Vice Chair and David Mitchell, General Manager were on hand to present the cheque to Jay Dickson, Principal, North Island Secondary School. 

March 2016         

Community Futures Mount Waddington wins 2014-15 Investment Portfolio Award

The 2015 Community Futures British Columbia Annual Conference was held in Kimberley from September 23-25. At the Gala held on Friday evening, Community Futures Mt. Waddington came away with the 2014-15 Investment Fund Portfolio Award. This award is given to the office that has demonstrated the most robust and diverse lending program and has shown significant growth during the year.

In 2014-15 Community Futures Mt. Waddington made loans totalling $2.0 million. This sets a lending record for this office, but in addition, CFMW partnered with other CFs in BC to bring an additional $3.5 million in loans into the region. That $5.5 million in loans also leveraged $4.5 million of investment from our target businesses. In all, a $10.0 million investment within our region!

This accomplishment is all the more impressive when one takes into consideration our total regional population of approximately 12,000, which is one of the smallest of the 34 Community Futures offices in BC. This investment helped to create or maintain 325 jobs in our region.

Community Futures is proud to work with new and expanding businesses in the North Island and Mid-Coast region. If YOU have a business idea please contact us.


Phone: 250-956-2220


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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


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