‘REACH’ program aims at growing small business

Local resource comes from JEDI, provincial government

The Joint Economic Development Initiative is promoting a program to help new businesses get off the ground.

JEDI’s “REACH program” or the Rural Enterprise Assistance and Coaching hostel, is, as its motto states, “Not about starting a business, it’s about succeeding in business.”

Joan Miller, director of JEDI, and Rodger Cole, an expert on rural economic development, discussed the program May 11, which accepts Town of Millet and County of Wetaskiwin clients.

Cole, who worked for the provincial government’s regional development department for over 25 years and eight years at Business Link, assisted in developing this program. He said in an interview at the JEDI offices located at the County of Wetaskiwin building that rural business sometimes have trouble accessing programs to assist them when compared to their urban counterparts.

REACH is one way to address that issue. Cole also pointed out the success rate for small business in rural areas isn’t that great; he noted that in some areas, about 76 per cent of small business shuts down within five years.

The REACH program, which will be offering introductory, free-of-charge workshops soon, can help prospective business owners who are thinking about things like how successful a business idea could be, what does a new business owner need to know, is a business plan needed, how and why should a market be expanded and where can I access start-up capital?

Cole noted financial institutions like programs like REACH because it shows the client is engaging in research and preparedness.

He stated the one thing required by the program is a commitment to attending and participating. He said the most important factors in the program is that the business idea a person has is right for them and that it has the potential to succeed. If those two pieces are in place, there’s a good chance of success.

The program is also suitable for existing businesses who are thinking of expanding into new areas.

REACH is co-funded by the provincial government and JEDI, which is a cooperative effort between the County of Wetaskiwin and Town of Millet with the goal of attracting industrial business to the area.

However, Cole pointed out the REACH program is not necessarily limited only to those interested in starting an industrial business.

Miller noted attending the introductory sessions can be a huge boost for a local small businessperson, as it’s completely free of charge.

The two introductory sessions are planned for May 23 in Falun (6 p.m., Falun Community Centre) and May 24 in Millet (6 p.m. Millet Agriplex).

Both Miller and Cole appeared at Millet town council’s regular meeting May 9 to present the program. Cole told councilors it’s nice to have some help when starting out because being a small business owner can be a lonely place.

More information about REACH is available by calling or texting 780-994-7459 or by email at reach.program.alberta@gmail.com.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

Just Posted

Town of Millet hires new Manager of Enforcement Services

Mitch Newton has over decade of experience in enforcement field

Millet food bank ‘connecting the chain’ in 2018

Food and toy collection at Holiday Train in Millet Dec. 9

Patients should have control over prescriptions: writer

Reader says drugs needed quickly, but company too slow

Tasty Xmas treats including tarts and syrup

Maple syrup calls for regular and brown sugar

Girl opens Christmas present she gave to boy when she dumped him in 1971

Adrian Pearce, now a married father of two, received the small present from his highschool sweetheart

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Hawk Tail Brewery ready to open doors

New Rimbey business to begin operation

Canadian community rallies behind hundreds who lost their jobs ahead of holidays

ServiCom facility closure in Nova Scotia was announced Thursday, following weeks of pay delays

Canada seeking new members of anti-coal alliance at climate meeting

Poland relies on coal for almost 80 per cent of its electricity, more than double the global average

Shoppers Drug Mart granted licence to sell medical marijuana online

Shoppers was granted a medical marijuana producer licence in September, after applying in October 2016

Most Read