CBDC Celtic reports on efforts to nurture local business growth

   The Celtic Business Development Corporation marked the conclusion of another successful financial year at its annual general meeting held in the Bay Bulls Regional Lifestyle Centre last week.
   Chairperson Evelyn Reid said the role of the community lender is to help communities build capacity and individuals to "shape their own future."
During the fiscal year ending March31, 2015, Reid noted, Celtic CBDC approved 22 loan applications and disbursed some $1.58 million to eight new business startups and five existing businesses.
   "What this really means to the bottom line here on the Irish Loop is the number of jobs that it represents," she added. "It's all well and goodto have businesses, but you really want to have people working in those businesses to better the financial situation of our region."
   To that end, the loans disbursed last year helped create 34 full time jobs and maintain 38 others, Reid said.
   All told, Celtic CBDC has 55 loans in its portfolio with nearly $3.3 million outstanding. Reid said that's money that is "going to work everyday" to help people further their businesses.
The loans are approved by a volunteer board of directors composed of Reid, Lana O’Neill, incoming chairperson Sharon Topping of Trepassey, Secretary-Treasurer Susan Sheehan of Renews-Cappahayden, business owner Bertha Rousell of Trepassey and retail sales manager Mary Raymond of Renews - Cappahayden. Long time board chairman and director Dan McDonald of the Goulds retired from the board last year, as did fellow directors Mary Fleming, Lil Hawkins and Derrick Thompson.
   Reid, who lives in Admiral's Cove, said the CBDC supports a variety of businesses in the region. Loans have been given to businesses in agriculture, the arts, food services, construction, the fishery, manufacturing, real estate and various services.
   "We don't only approve loans," Reid said. "We offer services such as training... Training is always something I encourage for people and it's been our privilege I think to offer this kind of training."
   Some 33 people received training in the last fiscal year, she noted, in fields ranging from sales to marketing through social media. Not only does the CBDC offer group training sessions, but it also provides individual training to businesses looking to increase the abilities of a worker or staff in marketing or financial management.
   The Celtic CBDC also helps people with the federal government's Self-Employment Assistance Program, assess the viability of business ideas, and last year, helped six young people start their own businesses through the Youth ventures program.
Reid said the Celtic CBDC is able to do such work not only because it has an effective board, but also a dedicated staff led by executive director Loretta Ryan. Other staff members include business development officer Gertie Molloy, accounting clerk Anita Sullivan and office administrator Judith Walsh. "We could not realize success without them," Reid said.
   This current fiscal year, which ends next March, is also looking good, Reid observed. "We invite you to participate in that success," she said.

Posted on October 28, 2015 .