Community Futures gets new business liaison position

The new advisor will boost Nadina’s capacity to help businesses through COVID recovery

Community Futures Nadina (CFN) will be getting another helping hand to assist businesses through recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) announced last week it is funding 11 Regional Business Liaison positions throughout the North.

“The Trust is very pleased that we were able to approve 11 positions that will benefit all four areas of our service region,” said Joel McKay, CEO of NDIT. “Now that we are seeing businesses re-opening, many business owners and managers will benefit from this service as we all work towards rebuilding the economy in Northern B.C.”

Kim Martinsen, CFN general manager said it is a welcome addition.

“We’re really thankful we got this position from NDIT because we are all extremely busy,” she said.

READ MORE: Northern Development relaxes rules on facade grants

The new person will provide information and assistance with COVID-19 programs; help with business application processes; help businesses develop immediate operating plans; do general business coaching and provide advisory services; help with financing; oversee the new regional relief and recovery fund; and provide training.

“Really, this person will be coming on to do everything that we do; they’re just going to boost our capacity to do it,” Martinsen said.

The 11 organizations have 90 days to fill the positions, but Martinsen wants to get theirs on board as soon as possible. She is already advertising it and noted that while the person can work anywhere in the district, the position will likely be based in Smithers because that is where CFN has the space for them to work.

READ MORE: Smithers leads the North in Support Local gift card sales

CFN’s territory basically covers the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) from Burns Lake to Smithers and both sides of Hwy 16 including Granisle, Topley and Southside. Businesses and non-profits in the area will also benefit from another business liaison position, which was awarded to the RDBN.

“We’ve already spoken and we’re looking forward to partnering with the regional district, Martinsen said. “We certainly will be working together to assist all our businesses and non-profit organizations.

The other entities that received funding are: Community Futures Peace Liard, Community Futures Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, Community Futures Fraser Fort George, Fort Nelson Chamber of Commerce, Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures Sun Country, Community Futures North Cariboo, Haida Gwaii Community Futures and Community Futures Pacific Northwest.

“Northern Development will fund 100 per cent of eligible expenses up to $75,000,” the press release stated. “This funding is a one-time offering to provide additional community resources to support small- and medium-sized enterprises during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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