Success stories

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Success Stories

Community Futures is pleased to showcase some of the many good news stories in rural Alberta. Everyday we help people like you start and grow successful small businesses.

Lorne's Blanket Society

Sarah Diformite (Manager)
Whitecourt Alberta


Community futures Whitecourt has been an awesome support as I have been manager of Lornes Blanket Society. They have helped with a a variety of things for our society an article release about our housing for our community guys to be released in the local paper, information and items for our men's Christmas baskets, help setting up Facebook and how to use it the best we can for a business...the sky is the limit ...from new ideas to new beginnings, to partners on a journey.!

LimeLitez Dance Academy

Jerredi Cowan
Medicine Hat, AB


LimeLitez Dance Academy is the artistic conservatory of youth entrepreneur, Jerredi Cowan.  Lime Litez offers a variety of classes including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and creative movement to performers of all ages.  Cowan has differentiated the academy through small and limited class sizes, superbly qualified instructors, and a suspended flooring system, which is designed specially for dancers and athletes.

At the young age of twenty, Cowan completed the Self-Employment Training Program at Entre-Corp in the winter of 2008.  Cowan describes the [training] program as an active foundation for her establishment’s progressive success.  “The training I received through SE is extremely valuable for all present activities, and will benefit future plans of the business.  Even more, the business plan I developed through SE will act as a constant support system, as it has already proven so through areas such as accurate financial forecasting and inventory management”, comments Cowan.  “With numerous expansion plans on the go, I need to constantly re-evaluate the entire business plan.  Without SE, I would not have knowledge of the proper [business plan] components, which need to be taken into consideration.”

Immediately following the Self Employment program, Entre-Corp further assisted Cowan through a $50 000 loan.  Cowan strongly believes that without the loan she received, the facility would not be the same.  Cowan went into detail of how everything from paint and décor, to furniture and inventory, was made possible from the loan.  “Being barely 20 years old with minor credit history, a bank most likely would not have taken me seriously.  I would not have been able to create the physical ambiance I envisioned for Lime Litez without the [Entre-Corp] loan.”

White Rose Construction Services Ltd.

Matthew Ashton
Cochrane, AB


White Rose Construction Services provides management for renovations and new construction - residential and commercial.  Matthew Ashton and his wife Emma moved to Cochrane four years ago with their two week old daughter, Sophie. “The small town atmosphere was just what we wanted,” says Matthew. “We love being close to the mountains, like to ski, hike and camp. And the idea of canoeing on the Bow River was especially appealing.”  With their newborn in tow, the Ashtons were quickly welcomed into the community.

After working for a general contractor for 3 years (6 months of which was spent commuting back and forth to Fort McMurray), Matthew was handed a pink slip. The company was cutting back.

Not one to sit still, he decided to act on a plan he had been mulling over for some time – to start his own construction consulting business. Cochrane was the perfect location. He wanted to stay in town and promote local trade in the area. “There’s enough renovation and new building going on here to keep a guy busy,” he remarks. “I started up in February 2010 with a slightly different concept than most renovation businesses.

One of Mathew’s recent projects was the renovation of the Parent Link Centre on behalf of the Town of Cochrane. “It’s a great facility where parents and kids can socialize, play and develop skill sets. We increased the square footage, upgraded the flooring, and installed specialized equipment - including a new climbing wall. This new space will be enjoyed for a long time.”

What was Matthew’s key to success? “I felt confident with my own technical skill sets, but managing a new business seemed daunting and a bit overwhelming. I looked for help and found Community Futures Centre West. I was blown away with the programs and services available – the Self Employment program taught me the basics of new business start up and I was able to confidently move ahead and open White Rose Construction Services Ltd.

“My advice to anyone moving here or already living in Cochrane who wants to start up or grow a business is to not be afraid to ask for help and guidance – it’s out there.”

B & B Bins


Lethbridge, AB


“Retirement is not for everyone” explains Leslie Weisser about her husband Blain, “he just wasn’t as content sitting at home as he was going to work”.  Kim Workman noticed her dad seemed bored most days as he transitioned from the work force.  “I just thought he wasn’t satisfied without something to do all day and Mom and I were trying to keep him busy.”

Meanwhile, her husband Brandon Workman was running his own roofing company (Workman Roofing) and identified a lack of service in the industry when it came to getting waste bins for disposal material.  One night while doing a Kijji search, he found a truck and 17 “roll off waste bins” for sale in Northern Alberta. It was the perfect solution for his roofing business and he thought it just might be the answer to all the fuss and worry about his Father in law’s boredom.

So a family conspiracy to keep Blain busy took roots and the Weissers joined the generation of  “maturepreneurs”, people who launch their first business after reaching 60.

They went to Community Futures to learn about perspectives, business plans and financial assistance for this new adventure.  They found the answers to their questions and the assistance they needed. With complete support from their daughter and son-in-law, B & B Bins became a reality in 2009.

B & B Bins is a disposal system that delivers waste bins to job sites for refuse material and once the bins are full, the service extends to disposing of the waste material at the landfill.

 “Service is our Motto” is boldly printed on their business card and service is the primary focus of the business.  A delay in delivering or picking up waste bins has a domino effect for the entire renovation/ construction industry.  “No bins for waste disposal can stop an entire crew from being able to get a roofing job completed”, explains Kim.  

Word of mouth about B & B and the quality of service they provided soon resulted in an increase in the demand. People started calling for the roll off bins for extensive yard cleanups, renovations, estate cleanups, storm damage, flood damage cleanup, etc.

Leslie states “We are busy all day long”. The need was greater than anticipated and soon there was also a need for another truck and more bins.  Calls for bins started to come from all over Canada and the United States for jobs in the area and soon B & B Bins Inc. was serving throughout Southern Alberta. By 2014 the business has expanded to three trucks, 32 bins, and employs two full time drivers and one part time driver just to keep up.

The small business has turned into a full time family operated business mainly operated by Blain, with Leslie managing the office duties.  Kim and Brandon offer support when needed.  The business doubled within the first year and has kept on growing.  “Blain is loving the business.  He loves being outdoors and has a different adventure every day.” Leslie says with a smile.  “Our challenge now is not keeping Blain busy, it is getting him to slow down.”

Mother and daughter laugh and their voices fill with pride when they speak of the men in their lives who work hard at their businesses and about Blain who is never, ever bored any more.

Safety Supplies Canada

Darryl Koppang
Box 3612 469C South Ave. Spruce Grove, AB T7X 3A8


Online Safety Equipment Store

It all started out in 2004 in a 300 sq ft office room with very few supplies and me stating "I would have it for you tomorrow".

Community Futures helped me set up my business to achieve my goals that would allow me to be of service to my beautiful clients. My business has grown into a 7000 sq ft attractive show room and i own one of the largest online safety stores in the world while producing my own clothing line called Protecting U.

Understanding that your are to be of service to all will allow you to grow and succeed in great leaps and bounds. So always have happy thoughts and provide service that makes you feel proud.

www.safetysuppliescanada.com

Sinister Sports

Brian Gallant
Crowsnest Pass


Brian Gallant, owner of Sinister Sports, successfully applied for a Business Improvement Loan with Crowsnest Pass Community Futures to renovate the front of his building in Bellevue. Originally, Coupland's Meats and Groceries, more recently, the building was used as a rental shop and the front had fallen into disrepair. The goal was to bring it back to somewhat of its original look while keeping with the current structure.

The main changes were:

  • ●  replace four damaged windows with white vinyl framed windows and white trims;

  • ●  remove vinyl and metal siding mish-mash, and replace with white painted wood or Canexcel; this will replicate the flat front siding that was typical of the original construction instead of the bevelled vinyl that had later been installed;

  • ●  refinish or change existing door and transom;

  • ●  restore existing vent;

  • ●  replace damaged fascia;

  • ●  add parging to approximately 24” below the siding in order to protect from damage (someone tore up the siding with an ATV and blade this winter);

  • ●  Paint the Couplands Grocery Store sign onto the siding; this was a part of the original building and will be done later.

  • "The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

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Success stories

Community Futures Network of Alberta

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