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CFDC - helping stir the economy

TED AMSDEN Northumberland

COBOURG - At the annual general meeting of the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation held at Cobourg's Community Centre Wednesday, executive director Wendy Curtis pointed out some of the achievements of the organization both during the past year and cumulatively since its inception.

NCFDC is a not-for-profit community organization that focuses on poking the local economy using government money, stirring up economic opportunities by unleashing the talents of entrepreneurs, and providing services like business development, counselling, and lending services. It offers financing for those needing a creative approach, encourages innovation, hires local folks and promotes partnerships.

There are loan programs for a variety of opportunities such as cultural, business and not-for-profit. There is the Eastern Ontario Development program that takes entrepreneurial hopefuls under the wing of experienced advisors and launches them toward their own enterprise. There is also the Self Employment Benefit Program that aims to help people create jobs for themselves and others.

During the 12 months ending September 2011, NCFDC, doled out over a half million dollars for businesses and another $400,000 under the category of its Investment Fund Growth. Jobs for 57 individuals were created resulting in an economic drop of $4.22 into the community economy for every dollar lent out.

Since joining the CFDC in 2002, the local chapter has provided 344 loans to help local businesses get up and running totalling $8.8 million. And as they say in the business, NCFDC helped to "leverage" additional funds of $9.9 millions. Altogether, according to Curtis, 845 jobs have been created or maintained during that period.

Curtis mentioned other accomplishments of the organization as well.

Long standing members of the board, Fred Long, Bob Olson, Jon Tondeur, Doug Pink, Sarah Sculthorpe and David McGlennon retired this year and were thanked for their years of service by Curtis.