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Growth Sparks Opportunity at Dimension Metal

A flat deck trailer sits outside the Falcon Road shop. It’s an early Friday morning in the BX. Birds chirp to welcome the June sun that warms the shop through an open garage door.   Holly Cleveland sits at the far end of a long table. She’s spent the morning preparing for a long day in the shop. A smile crosses […]

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A portrait of Becky Martselos, Accentz Dance Studio owner.

Accentz Dance Studio Community is Moving into Schools

When indoor fitness came to a halt and classes were moved online last spring, Accentz Dance Studio director Becky Martselos wasn’t sure what the next year would bring for her students.  But Martselos’ dancers rallied around their community. They remained dedicated to dance even when it meant spending hours practicing alone in their bedrooms. “We […]

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People walk towards the BX Press Cidery building in this concept image.

BX Press Cidery Expansion Plans Bear New Fruit

A sun sets above the orchard as the new indoor restaurant fills with laughter. Inside, guests bond over the season’s craft cider and artisan farm-to-table food. It’s an image that lies on the horizon for The BX Press Cidery. If you had asked her when she opened the cidery, Missy Dobernigg would have told you […]

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Community Futures North Okanagan names volunteer of the year

With years of experience in launching and managing media and tech start-ups, Tim Bieber uses his experience and industry knowledge to aid budding entrepreneurs. A volunteer with Community Futures North Okanagan (CF North Okanagan), Bieber was awarded the organization’s Volunteer of the Year Award for his contributions to the community. “I was drawn to how […]

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Mike Babott of Rhythm Productions talks to the camera.

Armstrong Videographer Helps Community Carry on During COVID

Self-employment program graduate Mike Babott of Rhythm Productions uses his videography skills to help Armstrong businesses adapt to COVID-19 It’s a day when children race around the playground with syrup fingers from the pancake breakfast and red lips from the Canada Day cake. When hundreds of people stand on the grass under a July 1st […]

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Enterprize Challenge 2021 Finalists Announced

Community Futures North Okanagan Enterprize Challenge finalists compete for more than $40,000 in prizes VERNON, B.C.—From beautiful country weddings to food waste recycling and permaculture consulting, environmental consciousness ties together this year’s Enterprize Challenge finalists. Hosted by Community Futures North Okanagan (CFNO) and presented by VantageOne Credit Union, the Enterprize Challenge brings together seven entrepreneurs […]

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Enterprize Alumni Nominated for Small Business BC Awards

 FILL Vernon’s Refill Store & NUMU Technologies need your votes! VERNON, B.C.—One uses data to help businesses grow their profits, the other uses pumps on jugs of household products to help people refill containers and keep plastics out of landfills. Both are Enterprize Challenge alumni and both have been nominated for a Small Business BC […]

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Enterprize Challenge returns & goes virtual

Community Futures North Okanagan calls for emerging entrepreneurs to participate in Enterprize Challenge, being held virtually in 2021. VERNON, BC— More than three years ago, nurse and new mother Kayley Letendre moved back to Vernon from the coast to raise her young family when she started craving something that she and her husband devoured while travelling […]

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How Enterprizers have been filling a need for customers in 2020

COVID-19 was not in the business plan. And yet, two former Enterprize Challenge participants have managed to shift, thrive and support their communities in interesting ways. When Marilyn Courtenay stood on the stage and made her pitch to judges in the 2019 Enterprize Challenge, she painted a scene of The Boarding House Café: A group […]

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New criteria for North Okanagan Immigration Pilot

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) for the Vernon-North Okanagan is updating its community criteria effective December 1, 2020. The criteria have been enhanced to support employers to hire more employees and grow the local economy. The three-year pilot began accepting applications in February 2020, with a maximum applicant limit of 100 per year. […]

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Recognizing 35 Years of Service to Community Futures North Okanagan

Community Futures North Okanagan recognizes founding chairperson Claudette Everitt with its Long Service Award. VERNON, BC— Claudette Everitt still remembers the day when the North Okanagan’s entrepreneurial and business landscape changed for good. While serving as the first female president and later executive director of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Everitt received an envelope […]

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Community Futures hosts valley-wide virtual Small Business Week

VERNON, BC—Small business owners from across the Okanagan-Shuswap region have the chance to participate in three days of development workshops and connect with peers from across the valley as Community Futures hosts a virtual version of Small Business Week events. “This is an important business development opportunity that our community looks forward to every year, […]

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Business development group seeks new members

VERNON, BC—A Community Futures business development group that has been supporting small business owners for decades will now bring its members together virtually—and the group is accepting applications for new members. Business Exchange, hosted by Community Futures North Okanagan (CFNO), meets bi-monthly to help entrepreneurs navigate a range of challenges and opportunities. “This is really […]

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What’s in it for you at The VIEW?

As The VIEW (Vernon Innovation & Entrepreneur Workspace) prepares to open its doors this week, Community Futures North Okanagan and Accelerate Okanagan can’t wait for the energy of its first tour guests and tenants in downtown Vernon! Here is an overview of what this amazing centre has to offer you and our community, and how […]

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‘I have accomplished so much’: How Momentum is helping women grow businesses

Kristen Trovato and her team have spent the last several weeks turning 55,000 pounds of cherries, 50,000 lbs of blueberries and soon 80,000 + lbs of apples into juice—all destined for export markets, especially Asia. Trovato and her husband, Remo, own Mobile Juicing and they also import and sell the fruit processing machinery that turns extra […]

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CFNO Helps Social Enterprises Access Regional Relief and Recovery Funding

The Canadian Mental Health Association’s Georgette Shop and Elks Lodge in Vernon are now able to continue essential operations thanks to the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), accessed through Community Futures North Okanagan (CFNO). For the Elks Lodge in downtown Vernon, it will mean their doors can stay open and someday resume the meat […]

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Innovation Centre prepares to welcome & inspire local tech community

Growing demand for workspace, connections amid COVID-19 fuels excitement about Innovation Centre For so many reasons, and now more than ever, the upcoming opening of the Vernon Innovation & Entrepreneur Workspace in downtown Vernon is something to look forward to. While many storefronts have had to dim their lights in recent months, a new face […]

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New relief fund helps non-profits & ‘all the other businesses’

North Okanagan small businesses & non-profits can apply for Regional Relief and Recovery Fund’s loans of up to $40,000 to cover expenses incurred during COVID-19 VERNON, BC—The rent while doors were closed. The cleaning supplies. The fees to create an online store. These are just some of the COVID-19 operating expenses some small businesses and […]

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Business Recovery Survey to Drive Supports

Vision North Okanagan reaches out to business community to understand recovery needs Local businesses will have a chance to share what kind of support they need to reopen and stay resilient through the Business Recovery Survey being conducted by Vision North Okanagan in May. “The Business Recovery Survey allows us to hear first-hand from Vernon […]

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Coping During COVID: CFNO Helps Businesses with Emergency Loan Funding

Loans of up to $25,000 are available to North Okanagan businesses to help them endure the economic impacts of COVID-19 When Darren Bezanson had to shut down the seating inside his Armstrong restaurant due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, he knew who to call.  Worried about how he was going to pay his staff and […]

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New #NOKTogether group launches website

Online resources help business community & residents navigate COVID-19 NORTH OKANAGAN, BC—With the launch of the new #NOKTogether partnership and website, North Okanagan businesses and residents have access to a single hub of relevant and timely information as well as important tools to help endure the COVID-19 crisis. “This is an incredibly unique and challenging […]

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Virtual Roundtables & One-on-One Resources: Supporting Your Business

Community Futures North Okanagan (CFNO) is hosting weekly virtual roundtables to help local business owners discuss challenges, solutions and resources around operating during the COVID-19 health crisis. Business owners can also access one-on-one support in telephone and virtual meetings with CFNO advisors. North Okanagan Weekly Business Roundtables These weekly community meetings give business owners an […]

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Employ Participant Wakes up to a Brand, New Day

The alarm jolts Jareth Leo from a deep sleep. Rubbing his eyes, he checks the clock reading out the 6 a.m. wake-up call. With little time to get dressed, have breakfast, shower, and brush his teeth, Leo is determined to be on time for his daily commute. The 21-year-old high school graduate woke up early […]

KALECO takes the top spot in Enterprize Challenge 2021

When her video camera turned on suddenly after the announcement was made, Amanda Homeniuk’s ear-to-ear smile filled the screen. Homeniuk, new owner of the revamped Shambhala Clothing (soon to be renamed KALECO), took home the business services package valued at more than $20,000 during the Enterprize Challenge. Her prize includes business capital, banking, accounting service, […]