Community Futures Peterborough comes bearing the gift of cash, the goal being to drive and boost increased economic stability and job growth in the Peterborough region.
On Tuesday (January 16) at VentureNorth in downtown Peterborough, a large gathering of local business leaders and economic development champions learned details of the new Community Advancement Program (CAP) and its related $50,000 in non-repayable funding destined for successful applicants.
Until Friday, March 8th, city and county businesses, non-for-profits and individuals can apply for a slice of that funding, up to a maximum of $5,000, with full program details and the application form at communityfuturespeterborough.ca/programs/cap/.
The program is seeking applicants whose bids speak, in whole or part, to the following:
- Create jobs, spark innovation and foster inclusiveness for specific client groups, such as women, youth, or Indigenous people, as the business starts, grows, or diversifies
- Help small businesses adapt to changing economies and technologies
- Create partnerships with local governments, Indigenous groups, educational institutions, and/or community organizations
- Boost economic impact by strengthening and expanding tourism markets
- Support organizations by promoting regional economic development
Community Futures Peterborough executive director Devon Girard explained the $50,000 fund “is not new money” that has been provided to the not-for-profit organization by its funder, the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). Rather, it comes from savings realized from the organization’s operating budget.
“This is our staff and our board taking a hard look at where our dollars are going out and where we can save, and how we can reinvest that money back into the community,” Girard explained.
Moving forward, applications for CAP funding will be evaluated by a committee comprised of Community Futures Peterborough staff and board members, with successful applicants revealed in early April.
“We want to get the money into the hands of successful applicants as quickly as possible,” said Girard, adding awarded dollars can be used for either capital or operating costs.
Peterborough Mayor Jeff Leal and Peterborough County Warden Bonnie Clark both spoke from the podium. Both heralded the initiative for the boost it will not only give successful applicants but also, by extension, the local economy.
“Any time you invest in people or ideas, it’s going to help the broader Peterborough region,” said Mayor Leal. “This is something certainly worth celebrating, for sure.”
“Ultimately, we all benefit from the success of individuals and organizations. A job in the County of Peterborough helps the City of Peterborough, and a job in the City of Peterborough helps the County of Peterborough.”
“Whether you’re looking to adapt to changing economies and technology, create jobs, do smart innovation, expand opportunities or build partnerships with key stakeholders, this program will support you in the process,” Mayor Leal added.
Warden Clark was equally effusive in her comments.
“In times like these, it can be difficult for business owners to start new programs when their margins are razor thin,” she said.
“With non-repayable grant funding provided through this initiative, local business owners will have the capacity to harness their entrepreneurial spirit, foster innovation, and challenge themselves to grow and expand their offerings,” Warden Clark noted.
“I appreciate the focus of the program on creating jobs, fostering inclusivity, building resilience, encouraging partnerships and maximizing economic impact, while supporting regional economic development.”
Community Futures Peterborough board chair Charlina Westbye also spoke, saying “Our board believes that supporting and advancing local projects builds the foundation for an economically sustainable community.”
Girard later hinted that CAP might not be a one-off.
“My goal is to grow and enhance it as the years come, hopefully generating new excitement in the community for projects while also looking for find increased funding for the support of more projects,” she said.
With the mission of supporting small businesses in the city and county with flexible financing, Community Futures Peterborough has invested more than $41 million in more than 1,100 businesses since 1985. Those investments have created or maintained an estimated 4,100 jobs.
For more information about Community Futures Peterborough and to apply for new Community Advancement Program, visit communityfuturespeterborough.ca.