Projects, Partners and Pix
Article & Photo By Judy Backus
Community Futures - working together to create jobs
EMC Lifestyles Marmora - The Marmora Inn was the welcoming location for the annual general meeting of directors, staff and guests of Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) of North and Central Hastings and South Algonquin, a not-for-profit corporation formed in 1995.
The March 31 evening gathering included a delectable three-course meal, held in the Inn's gracious dining room, with time for all to catch up on the latest news of the 12 incorporated municipalities located within the 5,442 square kilometres served by the organization.
After welcoming all and thanking the staff and general manager Bob Cloes for their tireless efforts over the past year, board chair Rob Price explained, "with financial assistance from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Community Futures offers a variety of products and services to promote small business growth and community economic development."
He referred to the recently adopted slogan, "Community Futures - working together to create jobs," noting that it was "simple, catchy and true," then pointing out that the mission of the corporation was, "to assist business and promote economic development ... .”
"With financial assistance from the Government of Canada, Community Futures can and does help create jobs. We can't do it on our own, but by working together with and through small business and by assisting other community initiatives, together we can and do create jobs.”
Statistics for the past year mentioned in his address included the approval of 32 new loans worth $2,078,868, "which maintained or created 116 jobs. At the end of the year, we had a total of 182 loans worth $9,012,465.45 to area businesses."
As well as working with ComfortCountry and the North Hastings Economic Development Committee with regard to projects such as North Hastings Branding, Premier Ranked Tourism, North Hastings Downtown Revitalization, Building Bancroft and Biomass Cogeneration, Price explained, "we along with the other 14 eastern Ontario CFDCs, the Warden's Caucus and our MP successfully advocated for the renewal of the Eastern Ontario Development Program which was included in the recently announced federal budget. We're looking forward to the renewal of the program when the election is settled."
The list of successes and initiatives continued, with Price saying, "we delivered or helped deliver a series of workshops in each of north and central Hastings on subjects from the Harmonized Sales Tax to Social Media, Building Websites, Marketing, Special Events, Networking, and Board Governance."
Price, who said he was proud to again serve as chair of what he referred to as "this amazing organization," concluded with the statement, "we serve our communities well 'working together to create jobs' and build a stronger, more sustainable, self-reliant community."
A portion of the evening was set aside for the election of three directors, Janet Wootton, Jane McCoy and Mary Le Feuvre, the installation of the executive, and the receipt of the audited financial statements.