Community Futures Greater Trail was recognized at the British Columbia Community Futures AGM for its outstanding business loan program. Pictured from left are: Erik Kalacis, executive director, Tamara Rotach, loans manager, and Sara Stuart, director.

Provincial award for Greater Trail Community Futures

The Greater Trail organization received an Investment Fund Award from BC Community Futures

Construction, hospitality, manufacturing, science, and tourism entrepreneurs were given a big vote of confidence last year with a combined $3.69 million loan investment by Community Futures Greater Trail.

“The goal of our of our loan portfolio is to balance risk and foster sustainable community economic development,” Executive Director Erik Kalacis said. “As a community-based lender, the loan funds serve a dual purpose: to invest and support sound business ventures within our communities; and to assist in the overall scope of long-term community development goals and activities in the area.”

Greater Trail Community Futures was recently recognized for its outstanding business loan program in 2016/2017 with an Investment Fund Award. The honour was given to the Greater Trail organization at the British Columbia Community Futures AGM, hosted in Quesnel and Barkerville.

The Investment Fund Award looks at various criteria including: financing new business start‐ups; expansion; youth in business; entrepreneurs with disabilities; technology; and extraordinary lending efforts.

“It’s such an honour to accept this award on behalf of the Greater Trail CF office,” said Kalacis. “But real credit is due to the Loans Committee, chaired by Sara Stuart, and the terrific work performed by our Loans Manager, Tamara Rotach. Our team is very proud to have contributed to the growth of our local business community”.

Since 1987, the Greater Trail office has fostered local entrepreneurs through all phases of business development from pre-start-up to expansion.

“Community Futures evaluates all lending applications on a triple bottom line basis,” explained Kalacis. “Applications must prove to be a “win” for the entrepreneur, community and Community Futures.”

A number of factors are taken into account before a loan is approved. In addition to a sound business plan, Community Futures looks at market potential and future economic viability of the business, local job creation, experience related to the venture, reasonable personal financial investment and the ability to repay.

“Applicants are asked to submit an application and business plan for analysis by our analyst,” Kalacis noted. “The business plan may be relatively simple or very complex depending upon the nature of the business,” he added. “The plan is then evaluated by an analyst and a recommendation is made to a loans committee made up of community volunteers. Because we are in the business of supporting entrepreneurs, applications may be submitted at any time.”

On a broad scale, the group has supported a number of community economic development initiatives in the region, such as the MIDAS (Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration Studies) “Fab Lab” located in Glenmerry.

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