Latest News

CF Alberni-Clayoquot Awarded $493,000!

Community Futures Development Corporation of Alberni-Clayoquot is being awarded $493,000 to develop and launch the Great BC Businesses Sale, which will showcase opportunities in rural B.C. and offer education to communities and business owners.

PORT ALBERNI – Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the Government of British Columbia is providing $1,753,481 million for 10 projects on west Vancouver Island.

“These projects will help local communities advance many important initiatives, such as expanding the use of clean hydro power, improving food security, training local workers and building business opportunities,” said Scott Fraser, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. Almost $19 million in 153 single-applicant and partnership project grants are being awarded to eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations through the Rural Dividend Program.

These grants help fund projects that support economic development and diversification in rural communities throughout the province. Grants can be up to $100,000 for a single-applicant project or up to $500,000 for partnership projects. “This funding supports the diverse needs of small communities throughout the province and the people who live in them,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Our government is getting results for people in every region, creating jobs and enhancing everyday services and amenities for families around the province.”

Read all about it here!

Strategic Planning

Are you looking for direction to keep your business moving forward? Strategic planning is often pushed aside as it takes time to work on your business rather than in your business. Whether you are a sole operator fitting work around a busy life, a staffed business or volunteer organization ready to go to the next level, a strategic plan provides you and your team the direction it needs to stay on track and propel forward in today’s marketplace.

A strategic plan is a valuable guide for your employees, your leadership and stakeholders to know where you're going and why you're going there. Strategic planning should involve key teammembers; it is important to have input and buy-in at all levels.  Reserve time and space; eliminating interruptions improves everyone’s focus during the brainstorming process. A strategic plan that is well communicated gives you access to greater productivity, culture, empowerment, and overall effectiveness. 

I am often asked, “Why should I bother with a strategic plan?” I think of a strategic plan as a compass.  You can have a ship, crew, fuel and cargo and a destination however if you don’t have a compass to guide you in the right direction you may become lost, take longer or just plain sink. These same principles can apply to a business. 

Strategic planning:

  • gets your team on the same page and aligned with your organizations vision, mission and goals
  • can maximize your organization's resources to avoid wasting time and money on projects or activities that are not important 
  • helps understand industry trends and scenarios that could impact your organization in the coming years
  • identifies and evaluates the best way to accomplish your goals
  • develops an implementation plan to keep you and your team on track and accountable for deliverables

Your annual operations plan should align and propel your strategic plan.  A great strategy is most often re-evaluated on an ongoing basis (quarterly or annually, for example), rather than being a static document just sitting on a shelf. Keep your plan flexible so you’ll be ready to adjust and pursue new opportunities, keeping in mind that they should align with your long-term goals and objectives.

We're nominated - vote for us!

Community Futures Central Island would like to thank those who nominated us for a Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce 2019 Nanaimo Business Awards - Financial Services category!

We are humbled and thankful. We'd love it if you could vote for us, as well as the many other deserving local businesses in our community.  Voting is open until Feb 28th.​ 


5 Tips To Master A Successful Entrepreneur's Mindset

A new month; a new mindset awaits. Most of us have something that we want to achieve, do, start, or create. It may be to start a business, generate initial sales, break a million in revenue, or start a blog. Whatever your goal, the dream factor exists and once you recognize it, all you have to do is adjust your mindset and chase it with purpose and determination.

"Adopting an entrepreneur’s mindset has multiple benefits. You’re “the boss of you” and are in control of your life and your career." 

Read full article here

Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Excellence

We are proud to sponsor the "New Business of the Year" category of the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Excellence. The winner will be chosen from nominees that have been in business for less than two years. The business must be a good corporate citizen and the owners / managers should be involved in the business community. The new business should be located in communities served by the QBCOC.

You can make a difference in your community by nominating someone you believe has gone above and beyond what is required in a local business or the community in general over the past year.

Nominate someone today, HERE. Nomination accepted until Monday Jan 28, 2019

Better Business Bureau Torch Award Finalist - Exceptional Employee
Congratulations to Jolynn Green who was a  finalist for the Better Business Bureau's new Exceptional  Employee Torch award, handed out at their Gala evening Nov 2, 2018.  
A conversation between Gloria Hatfield, President of the Gabriola Chamber of Commerce (GICC) and Community Futures Central Island (CFCI) Executive Director Jolynn Green, after the 2016 disbandment of  Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) and Tourism Nanaimo, focused on how “we” should work together to address the challenges Gabriola faces for business growth and the resources CFCI brings to the table; a conversation which led to the formation of a group trusted with the task to navigate the challenges around tourism and business development of Gabriola, Decourcy and Mudge Islands.When NEDC collapsed, everything that they had about Gabriola vanished and GICC have to start from square one recreating the website and collecting photos and information.
Gabriola Island  faces unique challenges for business growth and housing for staff due to limitations and bylaws enforced by the Islands Trust (IT). IT is a federation of local governments serving islands in the Salish Sea which are responsible for preserving and protecting the islands' distinctive amenities and environment. CFCI worked closely with GICC which is a member organization within the CFCI region. Green and Hatfield collaborated to create a strategic plan for economic development - the Strategy for Economic Prosperity on Gabriola (SEPG) - resulting in a three - year delivery agreement with the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN).
It was very satisfying to see the results of many conversations transformed into SEPG.  The creation of SEPG connected deeply with the CFCI mission to assist and encourage the enhancement of economic and community development of the Central Island residents/business owners.  CFCI encouraged GICC to apply for monies from the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET), with Green leading the process that included collaborations with Gabriola Island businesses to share intellectual and in-kind resources among many organizations and stakeholders.
With SEPG ready to be implemented, ICET’s “Quick Start” stream of the Economic Development Readiness Program provided $5,000 to enable the GICC to move forward with the development of the organizational structure and human resources required to action the plan. Further collaborations resulted in the BC Rural Dividend Program (BCRDP) providing $100,000 to the GICC who will use the monies to develop a homegrown strategy for economic prosperity on Gabriola Island. Newly-hired Community Economic Development Officer (CEDO) Julie Sperber be responsible for balancing economic development with positive social impact and sustainable practices.
“This is unprecedented support that we are receiving from the Province and the RDN, CFCI and ICET,” mentions Hatfield. Green has been there through the entire process and continue to support stakeholders with bylaw, policy and procedure rewrites, and governance training, acting as a mentor for the newly appointed CEDO on a fourth application for ICET. According to Cheryl McLay, (Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, Regional Economic Operations Branch), the CFCI/GICC application for RDN funding presented the model proposal; hence, other communities are approaching CFCI to assist with economic development proposals.
In summary Green facilitated, conversed, cajoled, wrote proposals and grant application,  and more … providing untold  hours of hard work which resulted in:
  • $6,000  from RDN - start the process
  • $29,925 from RDN  for 2017 - keep the train moving
  • $5,000 from ICET
  • $5,000  from RDN and then another $65,000 from RDN based on SEPG for 2018 and 2019 - to develop an economic development strategic plan
  • $5,000 from ICET -  organizational structure and HR required to action the plan
  • $100,000 from  BCRDP - to develop a strategy for economic prosperity
I, Ed Poli, as Chair of the Community Futures Central Island Board of Directors know that, "Jolynn is a powerful asset for CFCI and is truly an exceptional employee in every sense of the word. Her work on this Gabriola Economic Development initiative is just one example of how she regularly uses her energy, creativity, and impressive interpersonal skill set to serve CFCI and our community. "  I do believe she deserves to win the Exceptional Employee award as Green has gone above and beyond for this  client, and others. 
We threw a retirement party!

Wanda retired after 35+ years supporting our Community Futures Central Island office and central Island small businesses.

Wanda became involved before Community Futures was born!  She began her journey in 1979 as an Accounts Officer.  She joined the The Nanaimo Community Employment Advisory Society (NCEAS) which was formed under The Community Employment Strategy in 1975.  The general objective was to open up employment opportunities for persons experiencing difficulty finding and keeping satisfactory employment.  Ironically Don MacMillan was her Executive Director who she deeply admired and he is the man who this award commemorates.

After 40 years of dedicated service to community economic development Wanda has evolved as has the organization.  She has touched every aspect and person who has walked through the doors of the organization.  She has acted as a finance person, reception, business analyst and self employment coordinator… when the time has called she has stepped up in the time of need when Executive Directors were in transition to provide the continuity that has kept the longest operating CF in Canada moving forward. 

Western Growth Strategic Engagement Paper

The new global economy is transforming the way entrepreneurs operate their businesses. In fact, changes in today’s competitive landscape are driving businesses to rethink their strategies to reach beyond traditional boundaries. This is why the Government of Canada welcomes your input on the future of western Canada’s economy. Together, we will develop a Western Canada Growth Strategy that will help lay the foundation for our long-term success five years from now, ten years from now, and beyond. This engagement paper seeks public input to help develop the most effective strategy for economic growth. It is important that the views of those most directly involved help shape the foundation of this Western Canada Growth Strategy.

Click here to find out more on demographics, First Nations business development, GDP growth and stability, Labour market and more...


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Communities Served

Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Gabriola Island, Lantzville, Nanoose, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Bowser, French Creek, Lasqueti Island
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Community Futures Central Island
#14 - 327 Prideaux Street
Nanaimo, BC
V9R 2N4

T: 250.591.7499
T: 888.303.2232
T: 877.585.5385