About CBDC - Who we are and what we do

Who we are

Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) are not-for-profit organizations (located throughout rural Atlantic Canada) that provide financial assistance to entrepreneurs. Services include financial assistance, equity investments, training, counselling, and advisory services.

We work in cooperation with all levels of government and the private sector to meet the needs of small business. CBDCs are part of a larger network of 41 CBDCs in Atlantic Canada and 267 corporations across the country – all dedicated to meeting the financing and advisory needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Each CBDC has geographic boundaries. CBDCs operate under the Community Futures Program.

CBDCs assist in the creation of small businesses and in the expansion and modernization of existing businesses by providing support in the following areas:

  • Financial assistance to a maximum of $150,000 is available in the form of loans, loan guarantees, and equity financing to existing and aspiring entrepreneurs. In extraordinary situations financial assistance to a maximum of $300,000 can be offered to qualifying entrepreneurs.
  • Business counselling and advice is available to small businesses and, as such, we give high priority to the advisory and business counselling role of our mandate.
  • Entrepreneurship development and training is available in many of our offices for individuals and small business owners/managers.
  • Technical assistance usually takes the form of guidance and coaching, and sometimes advocating on behalf of the client to other lending establishments or regulatory agencies. We can also assist in such areas as marketing and business plan development, and in many instances act as a navigator for the entrepreneur.

We are not-for-profit community-based organizations run by volunteers from the local business community who firmly believe in improving the economic viability of their communities.

What we do

As Community Business Development Corporations (CBDC), our objective is to help build stronger communities in Atlantic Canada by stimulating private sector employment in our rural areas. CBDCs work throughout rural Atlantic Canada in the creation, expansion and modernization of small and medium sized businesses.

What We Offer Entrepreneurs:

CBDC General Business Loan

The CBDC General Business Loan is designed to assist entrepreneurs to obtain financing for their business, when traditional avenues of financing are not available. It can be used for key events in the business life cycle such as business creation, purchase, and business succession planning.

CBDC First-Time Entrepreneur Loan

Targeted financing for those first-time entrepreneurs starting or purchasing their very first business.

CBDC Youth Loan

Tailored business solutions for young entrepreneurs ages 18-34 interested in starting, expanding or modernizing projects that require financing to get the business moving.

CBDC Social Enterprise Loan

Tailored financing designed to assist social enterprises in rural-based communities in Atlantic Canada.

CBDC Innovation Loan

To assist in the development of the knowledge-based economy in the adoption and commercialization of technology by rural businesses.

Self-Employment Benefit (SE) Program**

The SE Program often provides a much needed catalyst for new entrepreneurs, helping them to realize their goal of becoming a business owner by providing them with financial and coaching support during the planning and start-up phases of their business.

Business Counselling

Business counselling in the form of advice to new and established entrepreneurs throughout Atlantic Canada.

Consultant Advisory Services (CAS)*

Gives CBDCs the ability to offer consultant advisory services to small and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit organizations throughout the Atlantic region. New and existing clients of CBDCs will be able to access technical and financial assistance by engaging consultants to assist them with various issues.

Skills Training

Tailored skills training in special areas such as market development, bookkeeping, feasibility studies and business analysis.

Entrepreneurial Training Fund (ETF)

The Entrepreneurial Training Fund can provide up to 90% of the cost relating to business management skills training, with rates varying by CBDC. Clients are responsible for paying at least 10% of the cost of the training, under normal conditions.

*Programs and services delivered by CBDCs may vary by region.

Additional programs are available in select locations. Visit cbdc.ca and click on ‘find my CBDC’ to ensure you have program information specific to your location.

Note: **SE is funded by the government of Canada through the Canada-Provincial Governments Labor Market Agreements. Self employment programs vary by region and are not offered in all locations.

Ambitions is a publication of the Atlantic Association of CBDCs intended to promote and celebrate small business and entrepreneurial success in the communities we serve.

We let our clients tell our story.

Get In Touch

Atlantic Association of CBDCs
459 Murray St., Suite 200
Mulgrave, NS B0E 2G0

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