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Small businesses offered network for success

SPRINGHILL – Don’t dream it. Be it.

Regardless of what stage your local business might be at, Bruce Burbine and the Cumberland Business Development Corp. have resources and experience to promote success. Burbine outlined some of those services to a breakfast audience in Springhill during Small Business Week.

Becoming a small businesses owner can seem daunting. An idea is only as good as its supporters – and the money to back up its start – and the Cumberland Business Development Corp. [CBDC] has both to help existing and would-be startups a reality.

In a presentation during the Springhill and Area Chamber of Commerce’s business information breakfast at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre on Tuesday, CBDC business development manager Bruce Burbine outline there is more than one way to get into business for yourself. Loans up to $150,000 through such programs as the first time entrepreneur, general business and social enterprise are key ways to become part of the local small business landscape.

“The loans we administer are only for Cumberland County,” Burbine said. “Someone in Sackville, N.B., can come and say they want to start a business in Cumberland County and we can help them. Someone in Cumberland County can say they want to start a businesses in Sackville, N.B., we can’t help them. I can direct them to a New Brunswick businesses development corporation but we can’t help them financially.”

Learning the small businesses ropes is something youth can start with the CBDC while they are still in school, Burbine said. A one-time maximum loan of $5,000 through the Student In Business program is open to ages 15-35 while they are enrolled in school to start a ‘micro business,’ like lawn mowing or selling vegetables. The term for repaying the loan is two years but comes with all of the CBDC resources, like business counseling and developing a business plan.

Burbine’s presentation was one of three that took place that morning. The goal of the local business breakfast social, Springhill and Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President Krista MacDonald says, is to bolster the knowledge of the programs and services available to local businesses while creating a venue for potential members to get a glimpse into what the chamber has to offer. ON the horizon, MacDonald said, the chamber will be surveying its membership so it can determine how it can do more.

“This fall we’re seeking input from the local business community to improve the chamber,” MacDonald said. “And in the winter we’re seeing about interest in a shop local campaign.”

The Springhill and Area Chamber of Commerce meets the first Wednesday of the month at 4:30 p.m., usually at the Jade Palace.

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