Jeff Green | Sep 29, 2005
Feature Article - September 29, 2005
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Feature ArticleSeptember 29, 2005
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Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation:Annual General Meeting
by Jule Koch Brison
A year ago last May, the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (FCFDC) had its official opening in Harrowsmith, and since then it has won two provincial awards for excellence; completed 42 projects; created 43 full-time job equivalents; and disbursed nearly $700,000 in loans.
It has also created an on-line business directory that now has over 270 listings, and provided in-depth counseling sessions to 118 businesses and/or potential new businesses. Recognizing that the future of Frontenac County lies in its youth, the FCFDC has encouraged youth entrepreneurship by: holding pizza lunches in local schools to talk about business planning; running a student business plan competition in which two local youth won $750 each; and establishing a bursary program for students to attend St. Lawrence College.
Last week the FCFDC held its Annual General Meeting at Rivendell Golf Club and Jim MacPherson, coordinator of the Land o’Lakes Communication Network was the keynote speaker.
One of the best-known projects that the FCFDC has helped to fund is the award-winning Frontenac E-Waste Recycling Centre (FEWR) in Sharbot Lake. FEWR is a project of the LOLCN, and since its opening last November, FEWR has refurbished over 14,000 computers and distributed them to schools and libraries. Jim MacPherson brought home to his listeners how important this has been not only for schools and libraries, but also for the environment. “By weight, 6% of a computer monitor is lead – that’s about 1 kilogram of lead,” he said.
In addition to its corporate clients, the FCFDC has also helped many individual entrepreneurs turn their plans into reality.
Bradley Smith, another speaker at the AGM, is the owner of Frontenac Foam Insulation, and a current client of the FCFDC.
Smith first went to a bank to get a loan to start up his foam insulation business. He described his encounters with loans officers this way: “They said, ‘you’ve got no money; so we’re not going to give you any money.’” Smith shook his head, “That didn’t seem right! If I had money, I wouldn’t need to go to them in the first place!”
After he was rejected by the bank, Bradley Smith went to the FCFDC, who lent him the funds he needed to start up his business, including money for training.
Frontenac Foam Insulation has taken off. Smith has hired an employee and is busy from morning until night. He even plans to bring his father into the business. He ended by saying, “Now I just have to find some employees who don’t mind snakes and spiders.”