Vancity reaffirms big belief in small business


December 18, 2013

At Vancity, we see big value in small businesses because they are the engine of our economy – and as a financial co-operative, we’re rooted in the local economy.

“Our approach to small business is simple: build long-term partnerships. It is something we’ve been doing for years and it works,” says Catherine Ludgate, Vancity’s manager of community investment.

Anthony Okuchi, Vancity’s manager of operations for community business affirms that approach. “We support the needs and vision of business owners with advice, collaborative opportunities, advocacy on emerging issues, and access to a variety of capital pools like grants, start-up and growth financing. Our ongoing commitment to supporting small business is vital to a healthy community.”

Vancity is a multi-year sponsor of the Small Business BC Awards and has delivered presentations to more than 1,000 entrepreneurs in 2013. Programs like Climate Smart workgroups provide training, tools and technical assistance to organizations that want to cut costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Tools like the Getting inside a lender’s head video series provide practical tips for businesses in start-up and growth phases. And partnerships with business-support organizations including boards of trade, business improvement associations, and initiatives like LOCO BC’s Buy Local campaign help us understand and find solutions to the challenges faced by small businesses.

Trying new initiatives like the Good Money Mob, also gives us an opportunity to innovate when it comes to practically supporting local organizations. By profiling business members in marketing material and campaigns, we put our media weight behind them too.

Small businesses Vancity works with agree

  • "It's a huge institution, Vancity, but it has that level of community connection with real human beings. You can't buy that. There's something about that that's really important.”
    -- Ken Lyotier, Founder of United We Can, Vancouver, BC

  • "Vancity brings so much more to the table than other financial institutions. It’s not just about the money with them. They’re an incredibly valuable partner in what we’re trying to achieve.”
    -- Pat McCarthy, President of A Bread Affair, Vancouver, BC

  • "We really have grown this all from the ground up—we have had a lot of support from people in the community, and we could not have done this without Vancity. They made our dream, which started in 2006, a real thing.”
    -- Glen Flett, co-founder, Emma's Acres, Mission, BC

Other 2013 small business initiatives

For more information about how we can develop a solution for your small business, from microloans and Business Jumpstart High Interest Savings Account to foreign exchange and growth capital, please download our brochure and connect with one of our small business specialists.