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Training – Chris

Chris moved to Victoria in 2015 and has been working steadily to build up his life.

He is now ready to take a major step towards a brighter future by beginning the carpenter apprentice program at Camosun College so he can work at a higher level in construction.

Chris has had some ups and downs in life including launching a business that didn’t work out and experiencing a lot of success managing a business in Toronto. He had some previous credit issues but is working on resolving them now.

Chris has learned a lot along the way – he knows what he wants to do and is steadfastly moving forward in his life. For over a year Chris has been working in construction and he feels that doing the carpentry apprentice program is a great fit for him and his career path.

Loan term: 2 years
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Les’s Security

Les has worked very hard to launch his security firm.

He is negotiating contracts which will allow him to hire six people from his community. He is very enthusiastic about his business, he earns a lot of respect from his employers and community, and he is clearly never giving up.

Les has worked in the industry since 2013 and has gained a good reputation. Although he has some credit issues from the past, he is working hard to make his required payments and change the course of his life.

Les is a member of the Songhees Nation and as such was eligible for full funding of his loan through our Aboriginal Loan Fund.

Loan term: 2 years

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Kerry-Anne’s K9 Services

Kerry-Anne offers pet/house sitting service, pet companion service, dog walking and a pet taxi service. Since starting her business she has continuously been increasing her client base and is very active in marketing her business and finding new clients.

Kerry-Anne has worked with animals for most of her life and has a genuine care and compassion for animals. She is also a marathon walker so walking dogs all day is easy for her.

As well as working on her business, Kerry-Anne currently has a part time job. She is applying for a loan of $1260 to purchase a new computer, a jacket with a logo so she can always be advertising when she is out walking a dog, registration at a pet expo in the spring and registration for other community events as she finds these events to be an effective way to meet new clients.

Kerry Anne is obviously very motivated and has a clear and logical approach to her business. We have really enjoyed working with her, and her references say she has huge potential to be successful.

Kerry-Anne currently has a very low debt amount and her credit file shows a perfect payment record.

We know Kerry-Anne has what it takes to make her business a success!

Loan term: 4 years

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Chelsey Taporowski Mortgage Broker

Chelsey is a 34-year-old single mother of two who came to Community Micro Lending through the Family Self-Sufficiency Program at the Burnside Gorge Community Centre. Chelsey is looking to establish herself as a full time mortgage broker with a local lending centre. She started two years ago under a senior broker and last spring she began working as an independent broker. She has recently, along with another broker, been offered the opportunity to open a new branch franchise in a Real Estate office that houses over 25 realtors.

As a relatively new broker who is not yet established and is paid wholly on commission, Chelsey’s biggest challenge is an income that is inconsistent and unpredictable. She thus works part-time as a server at a local pub to guarantee her family a steady income. Chelsey is applying for a $1,680 loan to pay six months of rent for office space at the new branch franchise. Working out of the office at the new branch will allow her to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity to build a client base and establish herself as a mortgage broker. She set herself an aggressive sales target.

The owner of the lending centre Chelsey works for describes her as a ‘keener who fits the mould’ for what she’s looking for in a mortgage broker. She adds that Chelsey is ‘no slacker’, is ‘doing all the right things’ as a new broker and ‘definitely belongs in the industry’.

Chelsey’s credit file indicates that she accumulated a substantial level of debt as a student, but has consolidated most of it, and over the past two years has made an effort to adequately service and reduce her debt. All her credit accounts are currently up to date.

The loan will provide “a great opportunity for me to build a name for myself,” Chelsey said. “I’m feeling torn as I wear many ‘hats’ in my life…I feel that my other job is taking away from my newly chosen career path.” Over the next year, Chelsey hopes to be able to quit her job at the pub and dedicate all her energy to being a mother and a broker. She has already been matched and is working closely with a Community Micro Lending volunteer mentor.

Loan term: 5 years

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Cool Critters – Gary

Gary is 60 years old and was referred to Community Micro Lending through GT Hiring Solutions in mid April. He has over 25 years of welding experience, but lost his most recent job last year when this employer was badly affected by the economic recession. He has been living on employment insurance ever since.

Gary would like to set up a mobile welding service catering to the logging, construction and fishing industries. Gary also recently began experimenting and using his welding skills to make metal artwork. He believes he can sell the artwork on consignment at nurseries and other outlets such as the Bug Museum. He has already made a tentative agreement with a nursery in Saanich.

Gary currently borrows his landlord’s machine and is requesting a $5,000 loan that will go towards buying a welding machine (which he plans to attach to his truck) and various other tools he needs for the welding service and artwork. The mobile welding service will be his main source of income, as he believes he can get 30 hours per week of work (at $45 to $85 an hour).

Gary’s references have both hired him to work on their boats and find his welding work to be of a high standard. One of them trusts Gary to the extent that he has given Gary a set of keys to his garage and workshop. Gary has had some credit issues with hydro and phone bills, but is committed to resolving the issues and paying off any outstanding debts.

The loan will change Gary’s life. It will allow him to come off employment insurance, it will give him independence, and it will give Gary a chance to save money so that he and his wife can one day enjoy retirement.

Loan term: 5 years

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Alchemy of Ayurveda – Rachel

Rachel came to us through Cool Aid’s REES (Resources, Education, Employment and Support) Program. She is currently living at Harrison Place, a long term (3 year) Women’s Transition House Society property for women who have left violent relationships. Fearing for her safety, she left everything when she escaped her partner but she still carried $16,000 of debt. She is currently rebuilding her life. She has 16 years experience in Ayruvedic Massage therapy and other related treatments. She is requesting a $5000 loan in order to get her massage business back up and running.

Rachel plans to develop private clientele and treat them at their homes with a mobile massage business, a service very much in demand. She will be offering therapeutic massage services, full service esthetics, as well as Ayurvedic health, weight and detox programs customized to clients’ needs. She has already started speaking with various yoga studios in town where she might be able to use space to conduct workshops to market her business. She has also been contacted to offer in house services by hospices, residential homes, and private homes where some clients are immobilized.

What impressed us about Rachel is that she’s already working on her business though she has few monetary resources to do so and upon meeting her we were handed a completed application package, including letters of reference and other certificates. A chiropractor who has been treated by Rachel described her as “strong,” “focussed”, “flexible”, and “adaptable”. She also said, “I know by her desire alone that she will absolutely succeed.” Her credit problems are mostly rooted in her having to leave a violent relationship. Rachel has expressed a real commitment and desire to repay her debt and restore her credit.

She’s a self starter, and is determined to go back to the kind of life she was living before trauma set in.

Loan term: 5 years

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Luv Bites – Kelly

Kelly is the single mother of a 15 year-old daughter. Having been unemployed for almost a year and struggling to support herself and her daughter, Kelly looked to self employment as an option. She became determined to build a business making and selling healthy dog biscuits.

While she was able to find a part time job, Kelly has spent her spare time testing and perfecting more than half a dozen different recipes. Her treats will be made from organic flour, only natural ingredients and will be free of processed sugar, preservatives and allergens. Kelly already has agreements with at least four local outlets to sell her products and intends to approach more.

Throughout the last year, and through some difficult challenges, Kelly has demonstrated a remarkable determination and will to succeed. Her biggest challenges are capacity and packaging. She is currently making the biscuits in a small oven in the kitchen of her apartment. Kelly has been approved for a $3,000 loan to purchase an oven, a freezer, ingredients, packaging and other tools and equipment that will help expand her capacity.

A former colleague of Kelly’s who has known her for 10 years says Kelly is ‘focused, dedicated, honest and someone who has a great work ethic.’ She says Kelly ‘truly believes’ that she can succeed. Karen’s two dogs have also been ‘tasters’ of Kelly’s various recipe permutations. The final products are ‘great hits’, says Karen. The owner of a local pet store opening this summer says Kelly’s “product fits with our vision. We’re excited to have Kelly’s product for our customers who are interested in natural, locally made products.” Of Kelly she says, “I know she’s passionate and excited and wanting to take her business to the next level.”

Kelly’s credit file indicates that she accumulated some debt while she was unemployed and has had difficulty making payments. With an increased level of income from her job and her business, Kelly committed to reducing her debt.

The loan will give Kelly the opportunity to not only get her business off the ground, but also to increase her income and live a more comfortable life, all while doing something she loves.

Loan term: 3 years

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Maplebank Hauling – Mike

Since 2012 Mike and his father (Michael Charlie Sr) have been running a part-time business providing hauling services as well as helping with small moves and landscaping. They have primarily been able to do this by borrowing a friend’s truck. Owning a larger truck would allow them to make it a full-time endeavor. Mike applied for an expansion loan to assist with the purchase of a larger truck.

Mike and his father have been gaining a lot of experience and knowledge as they have been working on their business. Their business is well known within their community and has a positive reputation.

Over the last three years Mike has grown his clientele and established a good reputation within the Aboriginal community. He identified that in order to grow his business he needed to own the truck and to have a larger truck.

The loan from Community Micro Lending will allow him to expand his business and secure a more steady income.

Loan term: 3 years

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Knitting by Yvonne

Yvonne sells her indigenous knitted products at the inner harbour, mostly over the summer months. She has years of experience and her products are highly sought after. This year she needed a small loan to be able to purchase the permit which allows her to sell at the inner harbour.

Loan term: 1 year

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Jewelry by Cindy

Cindy makes silver and copper jewellery and would like to start selling her products. Cindy’s goal is to increase the profile and availability of Coast Salish art and crafts. She has started selling her jewellery to people within her community and would like to start selling to the tourist market as well. Her long-term goal is to sell her products online and open her own shop. Cindy is applying for a loan of $937 to pay for materials, tools, and travel costs.

Over the last year Cindy has been taking lessons to learn how to make jewellery and buttons using silver and copper. She is now at a point where her product is refined enough to sell to both the local and tourist market. Cindy is keen to learn more, and still consults her instructor on a regular basis.

An administrator at the Esquimalt Band office says he has known Cindy for three years and she is an active member of the community and “volunteers for the Band and helps fundraisers on a regular basis. We think she will do well selling the jewellery.”

Loan term: 2 years

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