“Since start-up loans for small tourism business are unavailable from traditional banks, we sought and received funding from Community Futures Central Island”
Angie and Bruce Barnard
Painted Turtle Guesthouse
In 2003, Angie and Bruce Barnard purchased the Painted Turtle Guesthouse, a European-style accommodation located in the heart of downtown Nanaimo. The couple devoted 11 years to the hotel/hostel, committing hard work and innovation to grow and develop the award-winning business that now serves local and international community members, before successfully selling the business.
Community support turned ideas into opportunities for the two entrepreneurs. Since start-up loans for small tourism businesses are unavailable from traditional banks, the two sought and received funding from Community Futures Central Island along with 15 locals making it a true community effort.
The heritage property began as a large undertaking with major internal and external renovations needed. Currently, the Guesthouse is a 24-7 operation with five permanent staff who manage reception, groups/events, housekeeping, and business development for the world travelers, sports teams, tourists, and local/travelling business representatives it hosts. The hard work has paid off as they has earned national recognition as best in-class for its accommodation style.