Annual Report South Shore Opportunities 2016-2017

ANNUAL REPORT

South Shore Opportunities Incorporated

For the Year End March 31, 2017

The year April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 ended with an Operating Account deficit of $5,836.  The Board used $129,000 interest earnings from Investment to supplement the deficit this year.

$244,178 was received in operating income from ACOA.

Revenues sourced from Employment Nova Scotia for the year included $23,873  for providing the Self-Employment Benefits program.

The corporation had budgeted $562,087 revenues plus the need to use $ 197,483 interest from investment earnings.   Budgeted expenses were $562,087    Actual revenues achieved were $486,652.   Actual interest from earnings used was $68,483 less than budgeted with an actual transfer of $129,000 to support operations.   Actual expenses were $69,598 under budget due mainly to staff changes.  The result of total operations was a $5,836 deficit.

The corporation did 2 extra contracts  during 2016-2017:

  • Entrepreneurial Training Fund; partnered with Atlantic Association CBDC/ACOA
  • Consulting Advisory Services Program; partnered with NS association CBDC

South Shore Opportunities invested $14,692 in 11 businesses who took individual training in a business management skills.  We have confirmed via the Entrepreneurial Training Program, that people gain a great deal from individualized learning and that individualized marketing assistance remains the most needed skill in business at the moment in the community, followed by bookkeeping assistance.

South Shore Opportunities approved 6 Consulting Advisory Services contracts with a total contribution of $22,197.  Consulting advisory services program helped existing businesses determine how they might expand existing operations, diversify or place the business in a better position to sell to a new owner.

South Shore Opportunities had 105 new business client interviews, 26 from Queens Co and  79 from Lunenburg Co.  There was a significant decrease in new inquiries in Queens County in 2016-2017, down 46 new inquiries compared to 2015-2016.  Lunenburg County remained similar to previous years.   As a result, total new inquiries were below the historical average of 150 new inquiries per year

As a result of these new inquiries, South Shore Opportunities provided assistance with business plans and other technical assistance and business counselling sessions.  The majority of new clients came from existing clients.   The banks continue to be a good source of referrals.  In 2017 the Atlantic Association cbdc website has garnered regular referrals also.

South Shore Opportunities originally received $2.4 Million for community investment from various Federal Government sources (Employment Immigration, Human Resource Development Canada, Service Canada and ACOA) between start-up 1992 and 1998.  The organization has committed $18,631,301.13 to March 31, 2017.

The year end March 31, 2017 saw 29 formal requests for investment from the General Investment Fund, 9 for Queens Co. and 20 for Lunenburg Co. This is a reduction in Queens and increase in Lunenburg compared to the past few years however not dis-similar to a few years ago for Queens County.

The request for investment totalled $1,918,835 which is up $817,109 ,from  2015-2016 application and is third only to 1997-98 and 1998-1999 for the amount of dollars included in application requests.

During this fiscal year South Shore Opportunities committed 86% of the requests , committing $ 1,679,835,  25 loans, up in both number of loans and dollar value of loans committed from 2015-2016.  2016-2017 number of loans approved was 39% higher than the 25 year average number of loans approved (20.76) and was the most loan dollars approved in the organization’s 26 year history.

South Shore Opportunities had a 86% approval rate in 2016-2017, similar to approval rates over the past number of years.

This year, 2016-2017, was South Shore Opportunities’ largest year of investment, in terms of dollars invested, approving $1,679,835 investment.

The current year investment was partially used to potentially create 8 FTE jobs and maintain 59 FTE jobs, continuing the trend that the investment impacts maintaining existing jobs rather than creating new jobs.

Write-Offs and Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

Write-offs to the general Investment Fund during this fiscal year totalled $ 60,634.16 covering  2 loans for 2 businesses.  Including the write-offs this fiscal year, net write-offs are now at 11.9 % of regular fund commitments since inception.

Following analysis of the loan portfolio and individual loans, the organization chose to increase the Allowance for Doubtful Accounts to $820,000 which is a conservative 27% of the outstanding loan portfolio.

The combined Investment Fund completed the year with $3.08 Million Loans Receivable, covering 68 loans, after write-offs.  This is similar to the number of loans outstanding at end of 2015-2016.    At March 31, 2017 there was $690,000 available for investment.

Referencing Community Futures of Tomorrow funding formula , indicates a 1.5% operating contract penalty if investment funds loaned to the community or ACCBIF are less than 70%.   Based on disbursed figures, this organization ended the year March 31, 2017 with 74.9% utilization.

GOVERNANCE

During 2016-2017 the Board of Directors engaged an outside consultant to conduct a survey of customer service.  The Board was particularly interested to know if the priority of providing technical assistance in the form of guidance through financial planning of a business and guidance regarding the typical red tape related to starting a business, were important to the public.   The results were complete endorsement of the organization’s practices.

95 clients completed the survey by telephone and 57 by email.   74% of respondents did not apply for a loan.   The responses varied only slightly between telephone and email respondents.   Telephone respondents identified the top three services as very important:  Counselling (listening and suggestions) 66% ;  Guidance with steps in starting a business  53%; Access to financing 52%.

Online respondents identified the top services as : Counselling (having someone listen to my ideas and make suggestions)  87%;    Guidance with navigating red tape 65%; Guidance with financial projections 61% rated as very important.

When asked if they would recommend South Shore Opportunities, 64% said they were highly likely to recommend the organization to a friend or colleague. 20% are passive and 16% are detractors.   These three categories resulted in a  Net Promoter Score (NPS).   South Shore Opportuniteis Net Promotore Score of 41% indicates that South Shore Opportunities has clients who are loyal and will continue to refer the services to others. For reference, the consultant advised that companies that achieve a NPS of 50% are considered “World Class”.  The consultant recommended that South Shore Opportunities share the fact that it earned a Net Promoter Score of 41%.

The Board of Directors continues to both advertise publicly and utilize networks to continually seek new members of the Board.  The Board remains committed to seeking a broad range of geographic and industry business expertise to maintain the important access to capital for small business in the community of Queens and Lunenburg counties.

 

IS IT YOUR TIME?

Cody Whynot from Liverpool and his partner, Karlene Hauer, operate Whynot Adventure Outfitters Incorporated out of Kejimkujik National Park.

Offering canoe, kayak and bike rentals, the company that’s currently in its second year of operation, provides visitors with the complete outdoor/back country experience.

Tourists are coming for the complete experience and he believes they have just seen the tip of the iceberg. In fact, he says there is great potential to grow this type of tourism business.

A 2009 graduate from the Adventure Guiding Program at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, Whynot explains when he and Hauer, who has a degree in Adventure Tourism, heard about the business in March 2013 they knew right away it was a good opportunity.

After being turned down by three traditional banks, the pair found their way to South Shore Opportunities CBDC in Liverpool where they received overwhelming support for their proposal.

With their business plan and finances in order, Whynot Adventure Outfitters Incorporated opened in May 2013 and Whynot says it has been more than they could have ever imagined.

 

IS IT YOUR TIME to turn your idea into a business?      Contact sso@cbdc.ca  to tell your idea.

 

25% salary incentive to hire new graduate

Learn how your business can hire a recent graduate and the Government of Nova Scotia will cover 25% of the salary.

https://novascotia.ca/programs/graduate-to-opportunity/

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for the program, your business must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • A company with fewer than 100 employees.
  • A start-up company, incorporated within two years of the application date.
  • A social enterprise, not-for-profit organization, or registered charity, with recognized standing.

To be eligible for the program, your business must create a job that meets the following criteria:

  • A permanent, full-time position with a minimum annual salary of $30,000.
  • A position that requires an individual to live and work in Nova Scotia as a new full-time employee of the  organization.
  • A position that does not begin until final approval is granted through the program.

Graduates who are eligible to be hired through the program must meet the following criteria:

  • An individual who has successfully completed a post-secondary program within a year of the date the employer application is received. (Please see canlearn.ca for a list of the post-secondary institutions this program recognizes.)
  • An individual who is not an Apprentice. If your business intends to hire an Apprentice, you will need to apply for the START program.

Contact Information

Labour and Advanced Education
PO Box 578
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 2S9

Phone: 902 424-6000
Toll Free: 1-877-404-7074
Fax: 902 428-2037
Email: sepinfo@novascotia.ca

Southwest NS Climate Study 2014 Project Study

2014 Climate Data Study information is ready.

We would like to share with you why we are EXCITED about our climate.

Climate data (temperature, sunshine, relative humidity, rainfall, wind speed and wind direction) have been polled every 10 seconds all year at 42 spots in South West NS.  Find out what this may mean for agricultural opportunities here.

CLICK HERE FOR 2014 Climate Data Study Project

It is a large file, download will take considerable time.

Want realtime climate information at one of the 42 sites?

REALTIME CLIMATE DATA FOUNDHERE

Consulting Advisory Services Program

 

Non-repayable contribution now available for businesses. Small and medium size business and not-for-profit organizations may be interested in getting some outside professional work to help meet an opportunity or challenge.   Have you ever considered that your  business may benefit from someone else’s research and experience?   The Consulting Advisory Services (CAS) Program is for just this purpose.

What’s the Help?

up to 75% of professional fees and costs, exclusive of hst to a maximum , non-repayable contribution of $5,000*

*Subject to approval and also subject to applicants meeting the requirements and responsibilities of the program, South Shore Opportunities can make a non-repayable contribution to a Consultant on behalf of a CAS participant of up to 75% of professional fees and costs, exclusive of hst, to a maximum contribution of $5,000 per approved CAS applicant.     The client is responsible for the cash  contribution (in-kind contribution is not acceptable) of the balance of the professional fees and costs and the client is also responsible for 100% of the hst.

Eligible Consulting Advisory Services (CAS) Applicants

include small and medium-sized enterprises and not-for-profit organizations (emphasis is business)  that otherwise would not have access to this type of resource.  CBDC eligible clients will be eligible if the CAS Participant is requesting assistance related to innovation, productivity, competitiveness, export and will primarily be established clients focused on growth.

Ineligible CAS participants include businesses and not-for-profit organizations whose primary mandate is in the real estate industry, whose mandates are deemed not suitable for government funding , as well as municipal, provincial and federal government departments.  The CAS participant must operate within Lunenburg and Queens counties.

 

Eligible Activities include

1)  Diagnostic assessments: to conduct a thorough review of all aspects of an existing operation in order to provide an objective assessment of its current performance, key issues and future prospects.

2) Business Management Development Practices: To undertake a comprehensive review of the management skills of an existing organization in order to provide an objective assessment of its current status and identify opportunities to enhance operations/management performance.  This will ensure that the organization maximizes its growth potential and job creation over the long-term.

3)  Access to Capital: To source other options for capital beyond government sources of financing.  Following a pre-screening process confirming a client’s readiness and willingness to entertain venture capital/angel financing, a consultant with expertise in this field will assist the client with the development of a business plan that adheres to the criteria required by venture capital firms in order to facilitate their investment decisions.

4)  Market Readiness/ Export Potential: To undertake an objective assessment of an existing organization to determine its export readiness and identify areas that require enhancement to successfully enter the export market.  The analysis would be carried out following discussions with the trade experts at Industry Canada and the provincial departments responsible for economic development.   This assessment should increase the organizations’ chance for success.

5)  Specific Studies/Business Plans: Mentoring:  To assist an organization with the development and initial implementation of a study or business plan.  It is intended that the Consultant provide guidance and direction while the actual plan is prepared by the organization.

6)  Aftercare/Mentoring and Follow-up:  To provide mentoring or coaching assistance and advice to an organization that has proceeded with the implementation of advice/strategies developed in any of the above-described CAS products.

Want to apply?

Ask us HOW.

sso@cbdc.ca  tel 354-2616 ext 107 or 109 or 104

 

This program is financially sponsored by ACOA, via the NS Association of CBDC’s.   All decisions on funding are made locally.

EXPRESS Your CONSENT to communicate with us electronically

Want to communicate with us electronically?   To respect your privacy, in accordance with anti-spam legislation, we ask you to consent to us communicating with you electronically:

 

<iframe src=”CLICK HERE TO CONSENT TO ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION” width=”760″ height=”951″ frameborder=”0″ marginheight=”0″ marginwidth=”0″>Loading…</iframe>

South West Nova Scotia Temperature and Solar Radiation Study 2011 Project Summary

YEAR ONE results

Early in 2011, South Shore Opportunities CBDC (Queens/Lunenburg), Shelburne CBDC and Yarmouth CBDC secured funding from more than a dozen sources to launch a project to assess weather conditions and their influence on agriculture potential. Thank you to all funders .

The area of interest was the counties of Digy, Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens and Lunenburg.  To implement this three-year project the CBDC’s approached AgraPoint, for their agricultural consulting experience, and the Applied Geomatics Research Group (AGRG) for their years in similar “weather mapping” initiatives in the Annapolis Valley.    42 Onset weather stations were deployed to measure both temperature and solar radiation (i.e. sunshine units).

The results of the first year of the three year study can be downloaded here.   Be patient, it is a large document and will take several minutes to get all the information.

Click here to access the report