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Risk Financing

Expert: Norfolk District Business Development (NDBDC)

Joy asked:

My question is a friend and I have put together a business plan for a small gift/craft shop offering all kinds of different themes: baskets, gift ideas, card, etc - very unique and different. We have a building already for only $100.00 a month (great location and everything). The problem is that both my friend and myself had a disastrous year financially last year and now our credit rating looks bad - mine was A plus before illness, etc. Now everyone looks at us like criminals - we only need $20,000 dollars to start. We would like to open October 1st - but no one will help - not family- or anyone. The banks said to try elsewhere, the trust companies said to go elsewhere, the credit unions said to go elsewhere - I even tried privately but no one will help. This is becoming very, very frustrating. Even a lot of the government help we don't fit into. What are we supposed to do? Where do you find other private investors?

Norfolk District Business Development (NDBDC) answered:

"The NDBDC is a program funded through Industry Canada, and is one of 58 sites in Ontario under the Community Futures umbrella. The purpose of the program is to take on and assist higher risk financing and new business start-ups – much like your own.

Community Futures consists of a revolving fund of over $3 million – that is we loan out money, and the goal is to get it back in ASAP for someone else.

Here at the NDBDC, we're a work-in-progress organization. We have partnerships with clients – we don't just throw money at them and tell them to leave us alone. Clients are monitored and have to go through a process when they first join with us. The NDBDC is also a general business resource centre – a consultation resource for business owners. Most consultation is free as well.

The initial process is similar to that of banks. We're going to want a business plan, and we'll take a look at your track record (credit rating, etc.) in a one-on-one consultation. The first step for you would be to come to a "lunch-and-learn" session here in the office; they're held almost every Thursday. At the session, we'll go through what you'll need to have ready for us, business plans, cash flow management etc.

You can get a loan of up to $125,000, but the average one is around $25,000. Call ahead to the office, go to the lunch-and-learn, and we'll be more than happy to help you!

About the author

You can contact the NDBDC at:

395 Queensway Street West
Simcoe, Ontario N3Y 4T2
Tel: 519-428-2323
Fax: 519-428-0074

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