Sto:lo Community Futures (SCF) vowed a couple of years ago to transform Sto:lo territory into a thriving hub of business development.
Last week SCF of Chilliwack came home with two coveted business awards from the 2016 Community Futures of BC gala.
“SCF is honored and humbled by the recognition that has stemmed from the Sto:lo Means Business initiative that includes implementing major economic strategies dedicated to focusing Sto:lo as the Centre of Aboriginal Business in B.C.,” said Mike Watson, SCF general manager
Recognition was bestowed on Louis De Jaeger, SCF Board Treasurer, and Métis owner of Bravo Restaurant and Lounge, in the form of the Al McCracken Memorial Award for Provincial Volunteer of the Year.
“This award was based upon Mr. De Jaeger’s tireless dedication to the promotion of business growth in the indigenous economy in S’ólh Téméxw,” said Watson.
De Jaeger was heralded for “outstanding leadership” and dedication to Sto:lo Community Futures.
S’ólh Téméxw is the Halq’meylem term for territory of the Sto:lo people.
The second award of the night, the Investment Fund Portfolio Award, was handed to Chilliwack-based SCF due to a “significant increase” in its business loan growth last year.
Of the 34 community futures offices province-wide, the not-for-profit SCF based in Chilliwack at the Coqualeetza site is only one of three CF offices dedicated exclusively to serving the First Nations business community.
“An increase of almost 300 per cent in capital funds was lent to indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs, in part made possible through joint strategic partnerships with the Bank of Montréal (BMO) and the SCF/BMO Micro Loans Fund, as well as SCF’s joint initiative with Vancity, through the Sto:lo Community Loan Fund,” said Watson.
The prestigious awards were handed out at the Annual Partnerships for Success 2016 Community Futures of BC (CFBC) Conference and Award Gala on Sept. 22 in Vancouver.