Community Futures Central Island recognizes the importance of small to medium sized business in our regional economy. We have graciously been awarded funding from Island Coastal Economic Trust via the Province of BC to deliver the Regional Business Advisory Services program.

The program is designed to provide entrepreneurs and business owners with one-on-one coaching, guidance and support, based on the client’s needs; whether it’s sales and marketing, financial management, business planning, human resources, operational efficiency, grant finding, or business growth and expansion. The program will:

  • support rural businesses and communities impacted by the changing and unpredictable economic market, and/or forest policy changes and other impacts to the forest sector,
  • increase community and regional adaptation, resilience and sustainability; and
  • leverage existing local community/organizations to create incremental supports to impacted business and or communities.

Who is eligible?

Small and medium sized businesses, social enterprises and not for profit organizations who are interested in personalized coaching to help them increase their business know-how.

What can I expect?

Our goal is to provide you with practical tools, resources and strategies to help your business become more resilient and successful.

Despite its rewards, running a business can be hard at the best of times. The pandemic introduced challenges and complexities that businesses weren’t expecting or prepared for and we expect that the old growth forest strategy will be similar. Many businesses either don’t have the time or expertise to figure it all out and develop their own plan to resiliency and diversification.

Regional Business Advisors will work one on one with entrepreneurs to help them stabilize and increase, as well as if required, identify and diversify revenues streams. Our experience has informed us that often entrepreneurs do not know how to properly prepare for solicitation to banks and funders. We believe that for some entrepreneur’s debt restructuring will also be required. Our advisors will be able to assist companies to prepare for presentations to financial institutions.

Gaining traction in unstable times requires a nimble business model. We also want to assist businesses to reconsider and tweak their current business models and how they may shift or pivot their current model to serve both them and their customers. Our Advisors will support owner/operators in navigating the measures, determine what meets their needs and then assist them to complete applications if necessary.

For some, they may be required to exit their current business and our advisors will assist in developing a liquidation/sale strategy and refer them to appropriate targeted programming.

Where?

Regional Business Advisors will be in rural communities within the Vancouver Island Region (serving locations within the Regional Districts of Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo, Alberni-Clayoquot, Comox Valley, Strathcona and Mount Waddington). There are no fees associated with participating. Only criteria, you must be a willing and participatory applicant.

How and by Whom?

Our Regional Business Advisors will work one-on-one with existing businesses. Their activities will be to advise and coach business owners to determine their specific needs and align their efforts with programming, grants, subsidies and initiatives that are being offered. If assistance is required, to aid in the application process, the coach can help or be a conduit to individuals who have sector/industry specific knowledge and expertise.

Many businesses are realizing that an objective, independent advisor can provide them with fresh new perspectives, improve their general business effectiveness and expand market reach. Coaching encourages highly engaged business owners and entrepreneurs to bridge the gap to resiliency and gives these leaders the opportunity to strengthen specific business, communication, leadership or managerial skills. We’re with you every step of the way, supporting you in your business’ progression to greater success and growth.

Meet our Regional Business Advisors

Community Futures Board Member - Blank placeholder

Katharine Chernyak

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With over 27 years of experience in Operations Management, Human Resources and Change Management, both as a business owner and employee, Katharine has a strong understanding of the key challenges that many businesses face. Whether it’s optimizing customer satisfaction, hiring, developing and retaining skilled and committed teams, growing revenues, or expanding market footprint. Throughout her career, she has helped businesses across diverse industry sectors build more resilient management teams and organizational cultures.

What Katharine finds most rewarding is helping entrepreneurs and leaders make people feel safe and secure during the change process, while building effective organizational frameworks to transition from current state to future state. In particular, resiliency – the ability to bounce forward in times of change and adversity and to see opportunities for growth – is a critical component needed in today’s times.

Community Futures Board Member - David Mailloux

Brady Calancie

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Having founded businesses in robotics manufacturing, food processing, and consulting, Brady is well-versed in problem-solving and entrepreneurship. Throughout his career, he has successfully guided numerous entrepreneurs, aiding them in achieving success across various business domains.

Brady’s true zeal lies in assisting small businesses in embracing innovation amidst an ever-evolving business landscape. Whether it involves expanding their market domestically/internationally, enhancing operational efficiency, or embarking on a fresh entrepreneurial journey, Brady is dedicated to crafting effective strategies and instilling the confidence necessary for success.

Apply Now!

Complete an application and return by email to admin@cfnanaimo.org – in the subject line type Regional Business Advisory Services Application.