Community Futures or SOFII – Which is Right for Me?

The Business Resource Centre of Essex County is proud to be the local provider of the Community Futures Program.

Community Futures Program

Did you know that the Community Futures Program has been assisting entrepreneurs for over 30 years! Our office is one of 267 non-profit offices across Canada providing small business services and improving access to capital through business loans to people living in rural communities.

Each office administers a local investment fund to help finance new or existing small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) for start-up, expansion or stabilization plans which help maintain or create jobs. We offer flexible lending solutions with term loans up to a maximum of $250,000. At the Business Resource Centre of Essex County all financing decisions are made at the community level by the organization’s Board of Directors. Local people making local decisions.

Our funding is made possible by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) who work with the 37 CFDCs in rural Eastern and Southern Ontario.

Western Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Association

Our organization is a member of the Western Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Association (WOCFDCA). This is an association of 21 CFDC’s in Western Ontario. This association administers the SOFII (Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation) program. The SOFII fund is available to support growth or expansion of innovative companies in rural and urban communities in Southern Ontario through term loans of $150,000 to $500,000. SOFII is supported through FedDev Ontario.

What does all of this mean to you?

While the Business Resource Centre works closely with SOFII and there are some projects we are able to work together to fund, our mandates are quite different. The Community Futures Program focuses on rural based SMEs in any stage of business development who require up to $250,000 in funding. SOFII supports high-growth and innovative SMEs in both urban and rural areas with borrowing needs are between $150,000 and $500,000.

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