Shaunavon Launches the Shaunavon Opportunity Fund Co-operative Ltd.

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The Shaunavon Opportunity Fund Co-operative Ltd. is a project that was started by members of the Shaunavon Economic Development Committee in late 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for direct business support in the community was identified, because although there were a number of government support programs available throughout the pandemic, many had strict criteria, which did not always allow for small businesses or new start-ups to easily access the funds. We heard from a number of local small businesses, who have struggled to find financing options to assist them with their business needs. This led the committee to creating a subcommittee to work on solving this problem through the creation of a local invest co-operative, the Shaunavon Opportunity Fund Co-operative Ltd.

The committee reached out to Co-operatives First, who assisted through the entire process from the initial idea phase, through to incorporation. Co-operatives First worked with the committee to go through the process of a feasibility study, business plan and multiple training workshops. A great partnership was formed between the Shaunavon Economic Development Committee and Co-operatives First.

The main goal of the Shaunavon Opportunity Fund Cooperative Ltd. is to support local business retention & expansion, by providing small businesses the funds they need in the form of easy to access short-term loans. These loans can be used by businesses for several purposes, including: Start-up costs, equipment purchases, renovations, expansions etc. The Shaunavon Opportunity Fund is not a lender of last resort, but another option from traditional lenders.

Providing our business community with these available funds will help us to support growing our existing local businesses as well as attracting new ones to the community.

The committee is excited to announce that they are officially launching the Shaunavon Opportunity Fund Co-operative Ltd.! To date, there is around $150,000 available to distribute to businesses who apply for loans. Loan application packages are available at the Town Office, where each package includes resources to assist businesses with the process such as a business plan workbook, local advisory services, and more. Interested businesses who pick up an application package will be connected with volunteers who are available to assist with the process!