COVID-19: North Okanagan businesses get a boost

Community Futures provides emergency loans

When Darren Bezanson had to shut down the seating inside his Armstrong restaurant due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, he knew who to call.

Worried about how he was going to pay his staff and suppliers, the owner and chef of Fairways Bistro and Catering contacted Scot McNair, Business Loans Advisor at Community Futures North Okanagan.

“I wanted to see if I could get extra funding and get my staff paid and bills up to date, and what the process of that was going to look like,” Bezanson says.

McNair was able to help Bezanson access funding through CFNO’s new Emergency Loans Relief Program, which assists businesses in getting through the COVID-19 economic slowdown with business loans of up to $25,000.

With flexible terms and payment schedules, CFNO’s Emergency Loan Relief Program is different from the Canadian government’s emergency business loans program, says McNair. While the government program is interest-free, it has several requirements that some businesses can’t meet, including a minimum $20,000 payroll.

“The Community Futures program offers interest and payment-free loans for the first 90 days to help businesses get through the initial period and to a place where they can start back up again. The interest rate remains low for the remainder of the payback period. It’s a good fit for anyone who needs a bit of flexibility.”

Having received support and services from CFNO since he opened his business six years ago, Bezanson says CFNO’s Emergency Loan Relief couldn’t have come at a better time.

“There was no hesitation. The turnaround time to receive the funds took less than a week. Scot stepped right up and went to bat for us. The loan has allowed for us to continue to function and stay afloat,” says Bezanson.

While reopening his restaurant to public seating may take a while, Bezanson has been able to continue a takeout food and beverage service as well as a delivery service, thanks also to support from the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce.

“Having business support and organizations such as Community Futures that have your back has been a huge load off,” he says.

CFNO is also helping small businesses navigate COVID-19 with support services such as virtual regional roundtables through #NOKTogether, as well as with one-to-one telephone or virtual meetings for business coaching and advice, and updated resources and information through its social media channels.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Online roundtable sessions to help North Okanagan businesses

For more information or to inquire about Community Futures North Okanagan’s Emergency Loan Relief Fund, contact Scot McNair at ­­­­250-545-2215 Ext. 249 or fill out the form available at http://www.futuresbc.com/independent-business-loan-inquiry/.

READ MORE: Community Futures steps up online services for Vernon job seekers


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BusinessCoronavirusSmall Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Ken Derkach apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Preparations for flooding in the Shuswap accelerate

A sandbagging machine and a crew to run it have been set up in Silver Creek.

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

From mouldy attics to giant wasp nests, Shuswap home inspector shares surprising finds

Salmon Arm’s Brad Campbell assembling photo gallery of disturbing discoveries

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Shuswap History in Pictures: Floodwater food run

A young boy rows through Sicamous’ streets during the 1972 flood.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Most Read