Oct. 16 to 22 is Small Business Week in Canada and CBDC Cumberland is taking the time to show how the new centre will help small businesses get off the ground or go to the next level.
“This centre should prove to a tremendous boost to small business in Cumberland County,” CBDC Cumberland executive director Carys Wood said. “Our clients will have access to the incubator rooms, where they can come in and work on their business plans, and that’s just one things we can do here.”
Wood said the biggest difference with the new innovation centre is its abundance of technology that will help both new and existing enterprises with training and networking opportunities.
“Our other place was very good, but there so much more here in terms of technology,” she said. “There are things like virtual training opportunities in which clients can take courses here that are being taught elsewhere.”
Along with the incubator room is a large boardroom that can seat up 25 for meetings or group training. The conference room on the first floor also allows for larger training opportunities.
CBDC Cumberland has been asked by the town to manage the Community Credit Union innovation centre in the former town hall building on Ratchford Street. In that capacity it’s responsible for the daily operation of the centre including scheduling rooms and monitoring the business centre/hub, incubation offices and accepting payment for the town.
“As managing partner our role is to manage the building on behalf of the town and take the bookings for the conference centre and other facilities here,” she said.
Wood said that even though they have only been in the facility for a couple of weeks it is already being booked into next spring and summer. She expects the conference centre to be very popular with business and organizations throughout the region.
“We’ve already had some inquiries from Atlantic groups and organizations who are looking to book the conference centre here because of our location,” she said.
CBDC offers numerous tools to assist new small businesses as well as those looking to grow or modernize by providing financial and technical services.
Along with financial assistance in the form of loans, loan guarantees and equity financing, CBDC also offers business counseling and advice. CBDC, she said, aims to help business succeed and gives high priority to providing advice to those entrepreneurs looking for help, while also offering entrepreneurship training and development.
Technical assistance usually takes the form of guidance and coaching, and sometimes advocating on behalf of clients to other lending establishments or regulatory agencies.
“Our focus is countywide and we’re there to assist small business at any point of its cycle, rather its startup, growth and succession,” she said. “We offer it through financing, training and counseling as well as resourcing information for them.”