In response to the challenges and opportunities faced by
North Coast businesses in the past year, Community Futures is launching two web-to-coach
training programs to allow entrepreneurs to get the support they need to
succeed. These programs are composed of one-hour weekly live workshops designed to fit into
busy schedules. If participants complete a certain number of mandatory sessions in a specific program, they will gain access
to personalized business coaching
The first program, Rethinking Business, gives entrepreneurs a chance to change their business strategy to better fit the rapidly changing business environment. Designed for businesses who are struggling, this program involves walkthroughs of how to determine and pivot business strategy. An introduction to using financial statements as a tool will also be provided. Rethinking Business will also offer a local perspective through a bonus session featuring entrepreneurs in the Prince Rupert area who have successfully transitioned their business model during the pandemic, facilitated by business coach Bill Erichson.
The second program, Business Acceleration, focuses on how to optimize your business operations through the use of technology. Designed for businesses who are doing well and are in a position to grow, Business Acceleration will walk participants through high-level business planning with local entrepreneur Chris Armstrong and how to increase sales with Shauna Harper from Livework Communications. The program will then pivot towards digital marketing, with presentations on ecommerce, website utilization, and social media marketing delivered through Julie Wang of Tiny Planet Digital.
These programs are open to any small to medium-sized businesses in Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Terrace, Haida Gwaii, or surrounding regions. To learn more or sign up, visit www.webtocoach.ca.
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is not just for
businesses anymore. Non-profit organizations have also been affected by
COVID-19, and the RRRF can offer them relief.
The Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce, a leading non-profit organization in the community, is one such non-profit that has taken advantage of the RRRF 2.0 intake. Community Futures staff had a conversation with Chamber Executive Director Janet Song about the Chamber’s experience with the application for the fund and how they plan to use it to continue helping serve businesses in the community. Janet explained how non-profit organizations can use the RRRF and the unique benefits it brings in comparison to other funding options. Specifically, she speaks on the flexibility the program offers new and non-profit organizations and the relative simplicity of the application process. These benefits allow for the funding to promote stability of operations despite the turbulence brought about by COVID-19. Hear everything Janet had to say in the above video.
Paul Minhas achieved a lifelong dream in the fall of 2019 by
opening Sunset Lounge and Grill: a family-owned business and entertainment
venue with a unique fusion-style menu and a laid-back atmosphere. Growing up in
Prince Rupert, he knew the market well and was confident that Sunset could
offer an experience unlike other restaurants in town at the time, and it
quickly became a hit in the community.
The outbreak of COVID-19 had a significant effect on the restaurant industry. Lockdown procedures vital to preserving community health led to the closure of restaurants and revenue losses, and Sunset Lounge was no exception. In June, Community Futures began distributing regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) loans, providing funding to businesses that had been impacted in the form of $40,000 loans with no interest payable until the end of 2022. Sunset Lounge took out such a loan in order to cover certain bills and to provide security in case of extended lockdowns. By the end of the summer, however, a wave of community support and takeout orders resulted in the restaurant regaining a stronger position.
Paul has big plans for the future of his restaurant. Following a philosophy of being more than a restaurant, many innovative ideas are coming to make Sunset Lounge a place to socialize and have fun. Currently, there are plans for a larger bar, renovations and expansion to the second floor of the building, and the installation of game consoles to keep customers entertained while they wait.
Community Futures is proud to partner with Sunset Lounge and Grill. Watch the full story in the video above.
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) loan applications have reopened. Visit the application portal on our website or contact us at (250) 622-2332 for more information.