I would like to thank Community Futures Tawatinaw and the staff there for the extraordinary service and support I have received from the agency over the last six years.
My name is Jim Veenbaas from Westlock. I approached Community Futures Tawatinaw six years ago about financing to purchase a portable sign business.
I had already been turned down for financing by the bank I've done business with for more than 20 years, even though I never missed a payment of any kind for anything during that time.
I really wasn't expecting a positive response from Tawatinaw when I approached them, but I was pleasantly surprised when I did. From the very beginning Kelly and Ron went out of their way to be supportive and helpful.
They were looking for ways to make the financing possible, rather than putting up roadblocks to prevent it. Tawatinaw agreed to finance the business for $120,000 without hesitation. As long as the business plan made sense and it looked to be successful, they were willing to help. And without that help, there's no way I could have purchased the business.
Their support, however, went beyond mere financing. Anytime I had questions or needed information, Kelly and Ron were happy to help. During my first year of operations, it seemed like I was always dropping by the office looking for information and I was always made to feel welcome.
Once the business was up and running and operating smoothly, the staff at Community Futures stepped back and let me run the business without interference. I never felt like they were intrusive or demanding.
I will be eternally grateful to Kelly, Ron, and Community Futures Tawatinaw for their support and financing. Without it, I would have never purchased the business, which has grown and thrived over the last six years. They will never know the difference they made in the lives of everyone in my family, and I have grown to truly appreciate how important the agency is to our community.