Community Futures - How We Help

Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot (CFAC) is first and foremost a non-profit, community-based, volunteer-driven organization that supports its local small business community. From the volunteers who serve on the board of directors and committees to the staff that work with clients and stakeholders daily the people involved in this organization are committed to doing everything within their resources to help create an environment that sees small business flourish. Community Futures directly and indirectly accomplishes its goals through the delivery of 3 primary activities:
1. Small Business Financing
From its inception in 1986 through to the end of 2009 CFAC has lent $22,585,561 to small businesses in Port Alberni, Bamfield, Tofino and Ucluelet. We distinguish ourselves from traditional financial institutions in that we are able to consider lending applications in different ways such as relying heavily upon the individual’s commitment to the business and what it will mean to the community rather than what a macro template created in Toronto says. The proof of this is in the fact that the average loan amount over that period is only $37,393 yet creating almost 1700 direct jobs. If you have a solid business plan and a commitment to start or grow a business that would contribute to the critical mass in our region if only you could find the necessary financing please visit our website at or call us for a loan application.
2. Self-Employment Program
For those eligible to take advantage of the Self-Employment (SE) program Community Futures provides an opportunity to supply additional resources during the difficult start-up phase of operating a small business. From the potential application of Employment Insurance benefits while planning and starting up your business through to business training workshops and one-on-one expert consulting CFAC helps individuals looking to transition to entrepreneurship. If you have been in receipt of Employment Insurance benefits within the past 3 years and have a desire to operate your own business as an employment alternative then please visit our website at for more information about applying to the program.
3. Economic & Community Development
CFAC firmly believes that a vibrant, dynamic community is required towards the long term creation, attraction, retention and sustainability of small businesses. It is through the tireless efforts of volunteers and groups who provide various support services, events and activities that create the quality of life that we all enjoy and, in many cases, rely upon as fundamental building blocks for our communities. Through direct in-kind support of staff and other resources as well as administration of certain funding programs, CFAC does what it can to help support those groups who have demonstrated contributions towards the infrastructure and environment needed to help small business and economic development. Of course, we can only consider supporting activities that we know about. This is why it was disconcerting to read criticism that CFAC did not support a recent small business trade show in Port Alberni. In response to the critic, despite our best efforts, we simply do not have the resources to support and know about everything that happens in our communities. We especially cannot support those that we simply do not know about or not invited to support. If you have any questions about current or potential funding programs or how we may provide in-kind support to your activities please contact us.
Of course, being a community-based, locally-driven organization we have the flexibility to meet the small business needs of our local communities. As such, we also have priorities to assist with small business transition, business consulting and working with stakeholders to maximize our respective resources to capitalize on the many opportunities waiting to be captured in our communities. So, if you’re sitting on “the next best thing since sliced bread,” contact us. We might be able to help.