Community-Driven Finance Empowers Businesses in Northumberland
October 10, 2023

Community-Driven Finance Empowers Businesses in Northumberland

To ensure rural Canadians are positioned for success, the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) deploys operational funding to Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs). CFDCs provide access to the tools and support businesses and organizations need to flourish.

NCFDC delivers the core Community Futures Program (CFP) in Northumberland and works to develop alternative lending solutions for a diverse array of ventures: from sole proprietors, freelancers and general partnerships, to corporations and co-operatives.

Rural businesses—traditional, professional, main street, family-run, franchise or independent—form part of the essential bedrock of the Canadian economy and their success is vital to overall economic prosperity. Businesses from all sectors and industries from time to time will seek financing for startup, stabilization or expansion, in cases where funding may not be available from commercial lenders. This is where NCFDC can play a role by ensuring viable projects move forward and their impacts are realized as part of our commitment to community economic development.

Overseen by the Investment Committee of the Board of Directors, NCFDC has achieved successful lending outcomes in 2023, maintaining an active portfolio represented by over 50 percent women-owned and women-led businesses. NCFDC’s Board is made up of volunteers drawn from Northumberland municipalities and Alderville First Nation. They are award-winning entrepreneurs, innovators and experts in their fields. With the Board and leadership of Executive Director Wendy Curtis and Loan Manager Kim Botrie, the Community Futures Program has helped create and maintain thousands of jobs since the organization started delivering the Community Futures Program in Northumberland in 2001.

Recently, members of the Community Futures team took some time to hit the road to visit clients on site. We’re excited to introduce you to three wonderful local businesses from our summer tour.

Physical rehabilitation is emerging as an important complementary form of care to traditional veterinary medicine. Stephanie Murray is a Registered Veterinary Technician and is certified in Companion Animal Physical Rehabilitation. The Community Futures Program helped Murray establish a new physical rehabilitation centre in Port Hope with equipment and space to accommodate extensive animal physiotherapy activities.

The Pawsitive Animal Wellness clinic provides hydrotherapy for animals. Hydrotherapy uses different properties of water to help animals recover from injuries and to strengthen muscles. Murray started the company because she believes in incorporating a natural approach for humans and pets. In addition to hydrotherapy, the Pawsitive Animal Wellness product line is handcrafted in small batches using natural ingredients, pure essential oils and hydrosols—currently available at Justin’s Pet Store in Cobourg and The Fox Hollow Boutique in Warkworth. The result is strong business growth, ability to meet demand from veterinary referrals and achieve even greater impact in her animal wellness mission.

Embellish fabric and design studio in Cobourg offers the highest quality drapery, from blinds, shades, valances, shutters and more, to custom-made solutions that will fit every window. Embellish is also an online source for quilting, fashion and all home-décor sewing needs, with new products posted every day.

NCFDC supported Shannon Gardiner in the strategic merger of two existing businesses, as well as transforming the new entity through a visionary creative expansion project that has made the business the vibrant and multi-level operation that it is today.

Brighton KOA is located in Northumberland’s east end and is known as a destination for camping (tents, trailers and cabins). KOA (short for Kampgrounds of America) is a franchise of privately owned campgrounds founded in 1962. With more than 500 locations across the United States and Canada, KOA is the world’s largest system of privately owned campgrounds.

NCFDC supported Jackie Banas in extensive renovations, playground enhancements and cabin expansions. As noted in this recent feature by The Bunkie Co., modernized facilities and infrastructure have risen to meet demand and the business—“a family-friendly, ‘must-visit’ hotspot”—is thriving.

In Northumberland, these are just a few shining examples of where your local CFDC has made a difference through community-driven financing.

“Each owner/operator took their retail or service business to the next level,” said Kim Botrie, Loan Manager at NCFDC. “Their entrepreneurial vision and ability to deliver on that vision is the force that continuously rejuvenates our economy and ensures that we can all continue to enjoy a vibrant local marketplace. NCFDC staff and Board of Directors are proud to back such exceptional projects and individuals.”

Click here to learn more about the Community Futures Program in Northumberland and to apply now for alternative lending solutions for your business.


Victoria Pichler
Marketing Communications Lead