Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Community Futures contemplates moving their office

Toni Lucas - Community Futures Alberta Southwest General Manager Tony Walker appeared before council for the Town of Pincher Creek at their November 14 meeting as a delegation, to update council about the not-for-for profit's activities and funding. Walker said the annual budget from Western Economic Diversification Canada funding for their operations was $300,000, and Community Futures has a loan portfolio of 3.7 million dollars. The Pincher Creek office is one of 270 offices in Canada. Community Futures helps rural businesses obtain funding. "We are more of an alternative lender," said Walker. "We can tell when the bank is going to turn you down.  Banks aren't really big on start up businesses." "We can lend that money." The group have been active in the Pincher Creek area since 1995, Since that time, according to Walker, "We have lent our money out to the tune of $13 million dollars."

Community Futures has been located in the Town-owned building on Main Street, which is now also the home of McMan Agency, which includes the local food bank. Walker said McMan recently presented the organization with a lease. "That spurred conversation amongst the board of 'Is that where we really want to be?'" Walker said under his boards guidance he has been looking for property within the region which may be more suitable. "You guys have been subsidizing our rent for those 25 years, as well, and much appreciated."

"The board thinks we should be in another community. That is a board decision."

"At this point, we are kind of in limbo, I am still looking in both places, Pincher Creek and Fort Macleod. At some point I will need to make a recommendation to the board, and as I have said, I have not found a place yet." Walker said this will be an upcoming board decision. "Obviously, our rent is going to go up, no matter where we go."

Mayor Don Anderberg thanked Walker for the work the organization has done, and said that council understood their location issues. "I think probably we are still interested in definitely having you here. I think you are a great asset to the community." Council will discuss the information presented at a later date, which is their normal procedure with delegations.

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