Left to right are Mario Cormier, CBDC board chairman; Marie-Mai Cormier, accepting for outgoing board member Bob Cormier (Memramcook); Denise Lang, manager ACOA district office; Karen Robinson, CBDC executive director
On June 18, the Community Business Development Corporation, (CBDC Westmorland Albert), hosted their 27th annual meeting in Dieppe.
Board chairman Mario Cormier presented cumulative figures, telling of a continuing and solid presence of support and access to capital for rural entrepreneurs.
“During its 27-year history, the CBDC has disbursed $46.9 million in commercial loans and other financial programs to over 2,400 businesses in that time, resulting in the creation or maintenance of over 4,750 jobs in Albert and Westmorland counties”, said Cormier.
“Last year alone, either through business loans or through the Self-Employment Benefits program, we disbursed over $2.9 million to 122 small and medium-sized businesses in Southeastern New Brunswick. These businesses were able to create or maintain 259 jobs in our region, representing an increase of almost 74 per cent over the previous year,” said Karen Robinson, executive director of CBDC Westmorland Albert.
“Along with over $8.6 million either invested by the entrepreneurs themselves or leveraged from other lenders, more than $11.6 million was injected into the local economy. These figures speak well to the effectiveness of the role that CBDC Westmorland Albert continues to play in supporting the growth of our business community.”
“Our informal mission statement that we’re ‘In the Business of Building Businesses’ has worked very well, and assisting new and existing entrepreneurs, remains our first and foremost top priority. The results definitely show that our area is holding steady in today’s economical climate.”
“Our staff responded to over 2,400 inquiries, had 563 monitoring calls or site visits to clients throughout the counties of Albert and Westmorland and provided training to 358 individuals. We also evaluated and presented 179 completed applications of which 122 were disbursed,” says Ms. Robinson.
In summation, Cormier thanked each member of the CBDC Westmorland Albert team, and recognized the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour for their continuing financial support and commitment.
The board of directors is a key component of the CBDC’s 27-year success, said Cormier. “They’re successful business people themselves who’ve made hard nosed decisions. They understand, because they’ve been there, that banks are sometimes tough on people starting out. They really want to help others out because they care about their communities as well.”
At this year’s annual general meeting, volunteer board member Bob Cormier, representing Memramcook, completed his three-year term of service.
Elected at the general meeting was Serge Bourgeois, who will serve as the new Memramcook area representative on the CBDC Board. He joins 11 other board members, including Mario Cormier (Cap-Pelé), Joanne LeBlanc Skyrie (Shediac), Ellen Pickle (Sackville), Rob Harris (Sackville), Jim Bateman (Shediac), Ginette Glew (Dorchester), David Kitchen (Salisbury/Petitcodiac), Nadine Hebert (Shediac), Danny Patterson (Sackville), Klaus Sudbrack (Port Elgin) and Stephanie Carver (Albert County).
CBDC Westmorland Albert, founded in 1987, is a not-for-profit organization and provides financial assistance and training to small and medium-sized businesses residing in Westmorland and Albert counties. CBDCs are funded through the Communit y Futures Program.
For more information call their office at (506) 532-8312 or visit online at www.cbdc.ca.