Are you a bank or a Government agency?
Neither, Community Futures 16/37 is an independent not-for-profit corporation run by a local Board of Directors that provides financial and non-financial assistance.
Can I get a grant to start my business?
No, not an outright grant. Community Futures 16/37 provides loans to help you start, expand or maintain a business. The Self-Employment Benefits program provides funding assistance while you are starting your business.
Why do I need a Business Plan, when I know in my head what I want to do?
A business plan is a written guide and plan of action for the business. It lets you know where you are, where you should be, how much time and money you need to invest in the business and what type of return you are getting from the business. It also helps you to prove to others (bankers, investors, creditors) that you know what you are doing and your business is viable.
I have an old Business Plan from a few years. Can I dust it off and use it or do I need a whole new plan?
You need a new plan. So much has changed in the past few years that the figures you used are not valid anymore. If your business idea is the same, update the Plan. If you now have a different business idea, you need a whole new Business Plan.
Will you write my Business Plan for me if I tell you what I want to do?
No, it is your business so the plan has to be written by you. You are the one that needs to know all aspects of the business to navigate through all obstacles. We guide you through the process and tell you what information you need in your plan. Our business plan template provides an easy to follow format.
Once I have a business plan, can I come to you first for a loan?
Yes, but as a complentary lender, we will try to assist you with getting financing from a chartered bank but yes, funding is available through us.
Can I use Community Futures 16/37’s service if I secure financing from another source?
Yes, you can use our service without feeling obligated to apply for a loan with us. We are here to promote business development in our service area and encourage you to seek financing from any source that you feel is best for you and your company.
What “down payment” do you require?
We look for many things when determining this, but your personal financial statement will show what you have available and your business plan will show what level of owner capital you should be providing.
How long does it take to get a loan?
Usually no more than two weeks after you submit a completed business plan with all accompanying documentation.
Can I get rich going into business for myself?
Going into business is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It often takes long hours and lots of work, there are risks, but the rewards in terms of being your own boss, setting your own schedule and making as much money as you can are worth it. Hopefully, there is more than dollars that have attracted you to your business venture.
Can I get on your program if I don’t live in your region?
No, but we will be happy to direct you to a Community Futures office in your community.
How much do your services cost?
All services provided by Community Futures are free, except for lending programs which have loan fees and interest charges.
Business Plan Document (PDF)
- Business Plan
- Business Start Up Registration Checklist
- Cash Flow
- Completing a Cash Flow
- Marketing Action Plan
- Preparing for Financing
- Which Structure is You