By Jenn Watt
Published Oct. 16 2018
Haliburton County Development Corporation continues to have the largest investment fund of the 269 Community Futures Development Corporations in Canada attendees of the annual general meeting heard on Oct. 11 at Camp Wanakita.
HCDC is also the “most active lender of the 61 CFDCs in the province of Ontario and in the past year we’ve disbursed over $4 million in loans” Peter Fredricks chair of the board said.
In 2018 67 loans were approved for local businesses accounting for 308 jobs created or maintained with money provided through HCDC.
Since incorporation in 1986 more than 2000 loans have been disbursed with an average size of about $38800. Total loans disbursed: $79.9 million with a three per cent loan loss rate. The service sector accounts for 39 per cent of those loans retail sector next at 18 per cent and construction at 12.
The Eastern Ontario Development Program distributed $500000 through two avenues: innovation and business development. Twenty-four applications were funded in the last fiscal year which injected nearly $1 million into the local economy.
The Local Initiatives Program distributed $115000 last year.
A list of recipients of all grant funding programs is available to view on the HCDC website.
Patti Tallman executive director presented certificates to retiring board members Andrew Hodgson (10 years) George Schmid (nine years) and Rick Ashall (nine years).
They also recognized the work of board member Deborah MacLean who has mentored businesswoman Brandi Hewson of WAI Products.
Hewson gave a speech about the role MacLean has played in helping her navigate a challenging year which included selling a portion of her business.
“WAI would not exist without HCDC” she told the audience.
The event ended with a presentation by local housing advocate Fay Martin who talked about the need to address a gap in the market for the so-called Missing Middle – a group that does not qualify for low-income housing but has a hard time affording what is available on the market.
Martin said that the recent news a retirement facility could be coming to Haliburton was good but there was more need to address. She said the Minden Hills Housing Task Force had looked at four ideas that could offer better housing options for the people of the county: a seniors campus; creating rental units in the downtown; a tiny homes cluster; and creation of secondary suites when homes are constructed.