Contributed by the Columbia Basin Trust
In an effort to meet the growing needs of local businesses and help them succeed, Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) is expanding its popular Basin Business Advisors (BBA) program, which will be delivered by Community Futures.
“Since 2000, the BBA program has been helping build economic capacity in Basin communities by supporting businesses to grow and prosper,” said Neil Muth, CBT President and CEO. “By expanding the program, more businesses and entrepreneurs will be able to benefit, ultimately having an impact on the economic well-being of the Basin.”
BBA supports small- and medium-sized businesses in the Basin by providing free, one-to-one, confidential business counselling and assessment services, and by arranging and cost-sharing specialized consulting services. These services will now be available to all business models, including social enterprises. Starting in the fall, there will also be new services added such as pre-start-up entrepreneurship, workshops and education.
Steele O’Neil and Associates has delivered the program since its inception in 2000, with owner Barbara O’Neil now heading into retirement.
“We thank Barbara and business advisors Deanne Monroe and Will Nixon of Steele O’Neil and Associates for their commitment to excellence in delivering this innovative program that we are particularly proud of,” said Muth. “They’ve made a real difference to hundreds of businesses that have accessed the program over the years and that continue to thrive today.”
Muth added that CBT is pleased to welcome Community Futures on board and looks forward to working with them as they expand service levels to the business community.
“Community Futures is committed to helping people in the Basin who are currently operating or planning to start their own business, and the opportunity to deliver the BBA program will enhance our ability to provide comprehensive business services,” said Andrea Wilkey, Community Futures Central Kootenay General Manager. “Community Futures in the Basin, with offices in Nelson, Trail, Revelstoke and Cranbrook, will work together to ensure the BBA program is visible and accessible and offers consistent service standards throughout the Basin.”
To learn more about BBA, visit www.cbt.org/bba or call 1.800.510.2227.