Friday, July 12, 2024

SADC 2023 loan applications down

Non-profit blames high interest rates

The Pontiac chapter of the Société d’aide au développement des collectivités (SADC) held its 39th annual general meeting at Otter Lake’s Raymond Johnston Community Centre on June 5 to update the public on the work the non-profit has completed in the past year and hold elections for four seats on its board.
The organization supports local entrepreneurs in building their businesses by way of loans and skills training.
In the 2023-2024 fiscal year, the non-profit gave out $361,500 in business loans, down about $150,000 from the amount given out in the 2022-2023 fiscal period.
Of the business loans given out, 43 per cent were for expansion and modernization projects, and 57 per cent were for business start-ups.
The report noted another $260,000 in loans was approved but had not yet been dispersed.
“Last year was quite low compared to our normal years,” SADC business advisor Sarah Graveline told THE EQUITY, explaining applications for loans were lower than they had been in years prior.
“The reason is everything that has to do with the economy. Everyone was on pause. They didn’t want to spend more. They didn’t want to borrow.”
Graveline said loan application rates in the 2024-2025 fiscal year are already back on track.
“It’s been busy. Applications are starting to pick back up. If we haven’t surpassed the numbers from last year, we’re pretty close,” she said.
Another $160,780 was given out to seven entrepreneurs under the youth strategy loan program, the second of two primary funding programs offered by the SADC. This loan is available to entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 39 and is interest-free for the first two years.
Beyond administering its two primary loan programs, SADC Pontiac also developed programs to encourage and support entrepreneurs in transitioning towards environmentally sustainable practices and to become more digitally savvy.
“We’re in a hard moment where we’re introducing AI, we’re trying to learn it [ . . . ] It’s our job to make sure if we can’t [help you learn it], we find you the right resources,” said Rhonda Perry, SADC’s director general.
In keeping with this focus on empowering local business owners in the . . .


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