The CFDCs and CBDCs: A Winning Approach for Community Futures

Community Futures Network of Canada

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The Réseau des SADC et CAE

Year: 2015

The Community Futures Program (CFP) is a program that supports communities in their efforts to take charge of the economic development of their area. To achieve the objectives of this program, Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) and Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) activities and services focus on supporting local economic development and helping businesses through financing activities and advisory services. Usually, the CFDCs and CBDCs support the preparation and implementation of local economic development plans and projects in partnership with local stakeholders. These activities vary widely in nature and are often related to the preparation of development plans or the implementation of specific projects related to the plans.

The CFDCs and CCBDCs provide loans for business start-up, expansion, modernization, acquisition and turnaround to create and maintain jobs. The CFDCs and CBDCs are responsible for the sound management of their funds to ensure growth and sustainability.

The CFDCs and CBDCs also provide businesses, proponents and organizations across their territories with technical support services in the form of individual advisory services to improve their chances of achieving a successful business. This support can include advice on how to start-up a business, find potential solutions, support financial forecasting, seek funding, analyze situations, etc. Financial assistance is often paired with technical assistance to reduce loan-related risks and improve the chances of business success.

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Sustainable Community Economic Development

Community Economic Development (CED) involves a holistic approach that fosters community autonomy and independence. To achieve such an objective, an initial emphasis is placed on strategic community planning which is followed by support for the development and implementation of local initiatives. The nature of CED varies enormously from one community to the next, since it reflects local-specific situations. This CFP component is a critical element for communities faced with economic challenges. It encourages collaborative action and generates local initiatives that help diversify the local economy of our communities. In this way, the CFP fosters economic stability, job creation and the growth of more sustainable businesses, as well as community productivity.

CFP performance reports issued by Statistics Canada on behalf of the regional development agencies demonstrate the incrementality of the program. Businesses that have been supported by the CFDCs and CBDCs show a better economic performance when compared with businesses without CFP support.

In the last four years, Statistics Canada has studied the performance of businesses that have received CFP support and compared them with other businesses with similar characteristics. This study is based on indicators common to all the federal agencies, such as employment, the survival rate of businesses, business volume and productivity.

The results of this study show that businesses financed by the CFDCs and CBDCs perform better because they create more jobs and experience higher growth in payroll than the businesses in the comparison group. In addition, the rate of survival and annual growth in sales figures of CFP-financed businesses is higher than the businesses without CFP support. In light of these results, it comes as no surprise that labour force productivity in businesses supported by the CFDCs and CBDCs exceeds that of businesses from the comparison group. It is clear that the CFP and the CFDCs and CBDCs contribute directly to improving the competitiveness of businesses and the creation of community wealth. Moreover, these more competitive and productive businesses generate new investments in the rural and semi-urban regions served by the CFP and contribute to the sustainability of their communities.


History of the CFP, CFDCs and CBDCs
Creation of the CFP (1971-1979)
LEDA: The First Community Empowerment Program (1980-1983)
Lead Corporations (1984-1986)
The CFP (1986 to Today)
Working Together (1995)
Major Achievements
Territory and Population
Regional Development Agencies
Loans and Job Creation
Sustainable Community Economic Development
Additional Tax Contribution
Investment Fund Capitalization by the Federal Government
Provincial and Territorial Overviews
Newfoundland and Labrador Association of CBDCs
Prince Edward Island Association of CBDCs
Nova Scotia Association of CBDCs
New Brunswick Association of CBDCs
Réseau des SADC et CAE
Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations
Community Futures Manitoba
Community Futures Saskatchewan
Community Futures Alberta
Community Futures British Columbia
Northwest Territories Community Futures Association
Nunavut Community Futures Association
Local Governance and Volunteer Mobilization: Key Factors in the Success of the CFP
What Do Researchers Have to Say?