Micro-funding program assists local entrepreneurs

A micro-funding program will assist local entrepreneurs (those living in Chatham-Kent) who need a small amount of money to get their businesses up and running, and who may not qualify for products through traditional lending sources.

According to Canada Business patterns data release (Dec 2016) there are 10,198 businesses registered in Chatham-Kent; 7158 of those businesses report “0 employees”. Self-employment is growing at twice the rate of paid employment in Canada right now, and municipal officials say this micro-funding program will help entrepreneurs bring their businesses to Chatham-Kent.

In 2014, the Chatham-Kent Workforce Planning Board, with special funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, commissioned a research feasibility study that found there was a need for a micro-lending program in our community. A pilot program launched in the fall of 2015 with very limited success. The working group has realigned the program and is bringing a more simplified application and more support to the process.

Community partners including Employment and Social Services, Prosperity Round Table; United Way; Small Business Centre; Chatham Chamber of Commerce; Community Futures Development Corporation; Main Street Credit Union; and the Chatham-Kent Workforce Planning Board have reworked the framework to create a micro-lending program that will work for Chatham-Kent entrepreneurs

Qualified applicants can request a low interest loan of up to $5,000.00.

Contact CKWorkforce@chatham-kent.ca (or call 519.436.3299) to set up your personal appointment to meet with one of our staff and learn more about the program and complete an application.

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