Frequently Asked Questions

Can’t find your question here, please contact us here.

Meeting with our Business Advisor is your first step in applying for a loan. During this meeting (by phone, video call or in person) you will gain insight on how to complete in your application form and other essential documents. Completed loan applications are due on the first of each month. If you are unable return the forms and documents by the first of the month, your loan request may be delayed by four to six weeks.

After you submit your loan application to our business advisor, it will be adjudicated by our Loan and Investment committee. The committee makes the decision to approve the loan.

During your business consultation, you will be helping our business advisor understand your financial needs and working through some of the documents to get a loan started. This session lasts for up to an hour. The goal is to connect you to resources to help your business succeed, and to discuss your financing needs. For example, our business advisor might suggest a new market for your business, offer advice about your product margins, or connect you to a government program to export your product. Our business advisors pride themselves in being friendly, helpful, and community minded. We are here to help you succeed, and we love working with business owners on the Sunshine Coast.

The more prepared you are for this meeting, the more you’ll be able to get from it. Please read how to prepare for your consultation here. Our business advisor will ask you questions like tell me more about what your biggest challenge is in your business? Or I know another business that might be able to help you, may I put you in touch?

You bet! We enjoy helping at the early stages of business development, and assisting aspiring and current entrepreneurs fully develop business ideas. The first thing is to do is come in for a free business consult, or attend a workshop or event. You may want to apply to our LEAP! program to further develop your idea, or apply for financing. Our website also has great information to get you started (link: online resource page).
Please see our Events page for upcoming classes and workshops. We offer LEAP! on a regular basis, join our mailing list so you don’t miss our next program.
No, unfortunately we are not in a position to approve grants or donations. Please visit the Women’s Enterprise Center for an excellent database of grants available in BC to both women and men. Additionally, the Government of Canada has an excellent website with more information about grants.

We do not have adequate team resources to write business plans. We encourage early stage entrepreneurs to use the lean business canvas tool to investigate their idea. Our colleagues at the website have lots of resources, including templates, to help you write your business plan.  We would be happy to review your business plan and offer suggestions. We’ll also offer you feedback on the feasibility of your projections and plans, regardless of where you obtain financing.

Please call our reception 604-885-1959, and we can help you out.

We lend between $5,000 and $150,000. In combination with other partners we can arrange loans for more than $150,000. All loans pay a one time, variable administrative fee to cover the cost of making the loan. We review your personal credit situationmake decisions based strong on character incorporate character and business concept into decisions. The first step in getting a loan is a free one-hour business consultation with our Business Advisor.

Your options for financing depends on many factors, including your credit history, your business model, and how much you need to borrow. We work along side banks and credit unions, not in competition, to provide financing to businesses on the Sunshine Coast. The important thing is that you receive the right kind of financing and support you need to succeed.

You are an especially good fit to work with us if you are a social entrepreneur, unable to gain traditional financing, or you would like additional business development supports.

Through Community Futures Sunshine Coast and our partners in Rhiza Capital, we offer both debt and equity financing. At first glance debt and equity appear to be very similar methods of financing: a business receives money, in exchange for a legal obligation to whoever supplied the funds. With debt financing, the investee is legally obligated to repay the money at a specified rate of interest over a specified period. This is how house mortgages are structured. Notice that every month a loan payment is made.

Equity financing also involves a business receiving money in exchange for a legal obligation, but now the obligation is to sell ownership shares in the business. Ownership shares come in many diverse forms. Just because someone has shares in your business does not necessarily mean they make all, or even any, decisions about your business. The investor is now a partner in the business, and interested in the long-term success of the venture. Equity is generally more ‘patient’ than loans, since the investor is also an owner and can be expected to have a long-term commitment to the success of the business.