Based on a poem by Ijeoma Umebinyuo – from Simple Reminders(

Start nowwhat does that mean to all of us? What will success mean as we transition into a new way of doing business? Or how will you start your business now? For existing businesses remember how you felt when you first opened your business – scared, unsure of the future, learning along the way and being ok with mistakes because you were new to the world of being an entrepreneur, and for new businesses all of these feelings you are experiencing now are amplified by this new business world. But for all businesses – existing and new – remember the excitement of going ahead with this business because you were finally working at something that you really wanted to do.

So just start, move ahead, focus on what you can control, commit to doing your best every day, and rejoice in the small successes. Just start.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has turned the business world upside-down, forcing companies to step away from their tried-and-true business models toward new and unfamiliar approaches.
Having a successful digital or online presence prior to the pandemic often included a company website and a social media handle or two. Now, however, in order to keep businesses afloat, while continuing to provide your products and services to a physically distant clientele, a complete digital overhaul may be what is necessary to keep a company’s virtual doors open.

Read more about how to move your business into the digital world here.

The Business Recovery and Expansion Program will offer 6 months of group and private coaching that is preceded by an in-depth, on-line assessment of each participant’s business. The assessment tool when complete indicates the issues, strengths and opportunity for growth and improvement in a report format that provides the basis for the business strategy changes.
This program will help you re-invent your business and help guide you through any crisis that you may experience – now and into the future.
More information on how you can be part of this program and how to register!

Two new support programs through the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Resiliency Program!!

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is collaborating with Community Futures Shuswap, and other Community Futures offices throughout the TOTA, to assist in providing financial support to the tourism sector as part of the Tourism Resiliency Program. The Community Futures and TOTA taskforce is announcing the “Thompson Okanagan Tourism Micro Loan Program”, an initiative spearheaded by all nine Community Futures’ organizations located in TOTA’s region, which will offer micro loans to tourism businesses starting at $200 and up to $25,000.

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association has also signed a formal agreement with Okanagan College to provide one-on-one business training and mentoring sessions to tourism industry businesses and assist in managing COVID-19 related challenges. This collaboration forms part of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Resiliency Program, which has been established to provide support to the tourism industry to aid in recovery and regeneration.
For more information about both of these programs please fill out an application to book an appointment, or if you are already registered contact your advisor, through the TOTA Tourism Resiliency Program.

The Shuswap Economic Response (SER) Program is an initiative led by Community Futures Shuswap, Salmon Arm Economic Development Society, Shuswap Economic Development, Shuswap Tourism and the Tsuts’weye Women’s Entrepreneur and Innovation Network, and supported by Chambers of Commerce and community organizations throughout the region. Go to their website and make sure that you are up to date on business supports that are being provided by all of these organizations.
The SER program is also gathering information to inform COVID-19 response measures to support regional businesses.  Please consider contributing approximately 10 minutes of your time to share your information. Individual responses will be kept confidential.

Two ways that you can list your business online and create more sales!

Support Local BC provides a place for communities and businesses throughout the province to support each other. It connects all regions and is a platform where you can show your love for your favorite local businesses by purchasing gift cards for future use. This is a great way to encourage family and friends to purchase gift cards to use when they can discover the Shuswap region…later! For more information or to add your business go here and then let your know your business is listed on this website! This initiative is sponsored by Salmon Arm Economic Development Society, Shuswap Economic Development, Shuswap Tourism, and Downtown Salmon Arm.
Business Profiles on the Tsut’weye website
Join the Tsuts’weye Network Business Directory and share your business on our website. Business Profile listings are free. We encourage our members to #ShopShuswap as much as possible. Let’s support each other. To get your business profile on this page, simply fill out our Business Profile Form and email it to us! Check out the listings on the Tsuts’weye website.

Finding and Bidding on Opportunities with the Government of Canada – Thursday, August 13, 2020 – register here – also available on November 12, 2020.
Negotiating Contracts: Get the Right Deal – Negotiation Skills for Small Business – Tuesday August 18, 2020 – register here.
Start Smart 1: Basics of Starting a Business – From Registration and Licenses to Business Structure – Wednesday, August 19, 2020 – register here– also available on September 16, 2020.
Starting a Business: Smart Start Package – Smart Start 1 and 2 Combined – Wednesday, August 19, 2020 – register here – also available on September 16, 2020.
Starting a Business: Smart Start 2 – Key Considerations of Starting a Business – From PST to Protecting Your Business – Wednesday, August 19, 2020 – register here – also available on September 16, 2020.
Creating your Business Pitch – How to Write and Deliver your Elevator Pitch – Wednesday, Thursday, August 20, 2020 – register here
Creating professional Video Content on your phone – How to Reach Customers with Simple Videos from your Phone – Wednesday, August 26, 2020 – register here
Business Mapping: Developing a Smart Business Model – Mastering the Business Model Canvas – Wednesday, Sept 9, 2020 – register here
BC Ideas Exchange Webinar: B.C.’s Venture Capital Tax Credit Program – Helping Small Businesses Raise Investment Capital – Thursday, August 20, 10 am – 11 am PST – register here
Consumer Trends Post COVID-19 – 10:00 am on Thursday, August 13, 2020. Along with countless challenges brought on by COVID-19, the “New Normal” holds opportunities for businesses to adapt, thoughtfully bridge gaps and relay value in new ways.  – register here
Taking Purposeful Brand Actions During COVID-19 – 11:00 am on Thursday, August 13, 2020 – In this webinar Jeff Fromm, President of FutureCast, will review new strategic frameworks and best practices used by brands to navigate uncertain times during COVID-19. Use coupon code ‘TOTA’ to watch for FREE – register here
Market Research 2: Surveys and Focus Groups – Thursday, August 13, 2020 – Primary Market Research to Understand Your Customer – register here
How to Plan and Launch a New Website – in Partnership with Webnames – Thursday, August 27, 2020 – Build a professional online presence that expresses who you are and supports your business success. – register here
Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Interior First Nations will be hosting the Kweseltken Farmer’s and Artisan Market from August 2 to September 27 at the Kamloopa Powwow Arbour in Kamloops, BC. If you are interesting in selling Indigenous grown, raised and crafted goods please find more information and the applications here.
You can also just visit the market and purchase Indigenous grown, raised, and crafted goods.

Tsuts’weye Entrepreneur In Residence Services – to assist you with the reopening and recovery of your business in the Shuswap region.

Tsuts’weye Women’s Entrepreneur & Innovation Network can provide services to your business, whether you are a new business, or have been in business many years. These services are provided free of charge, thanks to the financial support of Community Futures Shuswap and Western Economic Diversification.
To access these services please complete the Client Intake Form and then send to Caroline Grover, our Entrepreneur in Residence by email or call her directly at 250-300-4757.
For more information about this program go to the Tsuts’weye website.

COVID-19 Supports and resources for Entrepreneurs

NEW! Women’s Enterprise Centre – Regional Relief and Recovery Fund
The Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, is providing loans of up to $40,000 for eligible women-run businesses to help businesses cope with financial hardship and recovery from economic disruption resulting from COVID-19.
Women’s Enterprise Centre is pleased to provide access to this Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) to women entrepreneurs in BC. If you think your business requires additional financing to recover this could be a good option for you.
This option is available for sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations. More information here.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extended to December 2020 – Information here on the new updates to the CEWS. Updated July 17, 2020.
Payment Deadline Extension for income tax returns –
Canada Revenue Agency is extending the payment due date for current year individual, corporate, and trust income tax returns, including instalment payments, from September 1st, to September 30th, 2020. Penalties and interest will not be charged if payments are made by the extended deadline.
More information here.
Province of BC –
  • NEW! On August 7, the Provincial Health Officer released a new Public Health Order for gatherings and events. The order applies to persons who organize or attend events at vacation accommodation or other places; it does not apply to food service establishments or licensed premises.
  • NEW! On July 31, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) issued a new Public Health Order for food and liquor primary establishments in BC.
  • NEW! BC has extended the Provincial State of Emergency through the end of the day on August 18, 2020 to allow government to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe.
  • COVID-19 resources for BC Businesses and individuals – updates as of August 7, 2020.
  • Find PPE for your business to safely reopen – Small Business BC has created a Non-Medical PPE Marketplace to connect businesses with suppliers of non-medical safety equipment.
  • WorkSafe BC –  COVID-19 information and resources updated for safe operations for Phase 3.
  • BC Economic Development Association – COVID19 Resources for BC Businesses – updated August 5, 2020.
  • BDC – COVID-19 – Resources and support for BC businesses. Webinars for businesses resources recovery.
  • Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) -Shuswap-Revelstoke – for resources to assist you please click here
  • Community Futures BC – COVID-19 Business Resources.
  • Destination BC – COVID-19 Resources for the Tourism Industry – updated August 6, 2020.
  • Farm Credit Canada – COVID-19 Resources for the agriculture industry.
  • GO2HR – Restarting business operations after COVID-19 industry sector best practices guides here.
  • Greater Vancouver Board of Trade – COVID19 resources and Business Reinvention Series Webinars – more information here.
  • Salmon Arm Economic Development Society – Business Restart Toolkit – Resources for businesses to reopen and more.
  • Small Business BC – August Resources from Small Business BC.
  • Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association – Tourism Resiliency Program – Resources for Tourism businesses in the Thompson Okanagan Tourism region.
  • Tourism Industry Association of BC – C-19 Bulletin – August 10, 2020
  • Women’s Enterprise Centre – Assisting women entrepreneurs through recovery – Resources and Support..