An exciting opportunity has arisen for small businesses in the southwest, thanks to a group of concerned citizens who wanted to make capital expansion easier to access.  

The Shaunavon Opportunity Fund Co-operative Ltd. is officially launched, after years of planning and organizing by the Shaunavon Economic Development Committee. 

Grant Greenslade, president of the co-op, said he and other businesspeople were concerned about the growth of the community and gathered with the plan to provide direct business support.

“We're not going to be a lender of last resort,” he said. “But rather somebody you can go to, to buy maybe a piece of used equipment you couldn't otherwise get financing for traditional levels. Basically, we get approached by a business, they do a business plan and present use of funds, and then we'll evaluate whether it's a good fit for our loan co-op and lend the money to the business to expand.” 

According to a release from the Town of Shaunavon, 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. 

Currently, the fund has around $15,000 to distribute to small businesses in the southwest who apply for a loan. 

“We're trying to target the entire Southwest area,” said Greenslade. “So, not just the town of Shaunavon, but the surrounding community. We encourage anybody in our area to reach out to us if they're looking for funds. We’re primarily interested in capital items only, not use of funds for ongoing business.”  

Application packages are available at the Shaunavon Town Office, and there are individuals who can assist with the process.  

In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, Swift Current Online encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the Swift Current Online app.