Getting informed about new CASP program

During Entrepreneurs’ and Co-operators’ Breakfast

WELLINGTON, PEI – Oct. 22, 2013 – Fifteen people had the opportunity to fill up on a delicious breakfast and to learn all about a brand new entrepreneurial assistance program during the Entrepreneurs’ and Co-operators’ Breakfast on Monday, Oct. 21, in Wellington.

Guest speakers Tania Bernard and Paul Gillespie, loan officers with the CBDC Central PEI in Summerside, were on hand to explain the various components of the Consulting Advisory Services Program (CASP).

First of all, this program is funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and is managed by the CBDCs. It helps new and expanding businesses to obtain funding assistance to hire consultants or other experts to help them conduct a business diagnostic assessment, undergo business management skills development, review their market readiness and export potential, improve their productivity or make their business more efficient.

The speakers noted that certain components of the program are geared for projects valued at up to $5,000 while others are for projects of up to $10,000.

The breakfast was organized jointly by the Conseil de développement coopératif de l’Î.-P.-É., the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI, RDÉE Prince Edward Island and the Wellington Rural Action Centre. Each partner had the opportunity to bring greetings and to describe their services. All four also spoke about the great working relationship that has been developed among the partners.

Their regular partner, the CBDC, was also the sponsor of the event, which took place right in the middle of Co-op and Small Business Weeks.

The theme for Small Business Week (Oct. 20-26) this year is « Success Ahead! Map Your Future Growth! » while the theme for Co-op Week (Oct. 13-19) was « A Better Way ».

According the Business Development Bank of Canada, small and medium-sized businesses are the cornerstone of the Canadian economy. They account for 99.8% of all Canadian companies and employ more than 60% of private sector workers.

« That means that we really have something to celebrate, » said breakfast host Raymond J. Arsenault, coordinator of the Chamber of Commerce. « And from a co-op perspective, here on PEI and especially in our Evangeline region, co-ops represent a huge economic force, both in the area of revenues but also in the number of jobs. Just imagine if we had to shut down all co-operatives tomorrow morning. We’d really be in a sorry state of affairs. So we can count our lucky stars that our parents and grand-parents established this powerful movement. »


Seen following the Entrepreneurs’ and Co-operators’ Breakfast on Monday, Oct. 21, in Wellington, are its organizing partners, from left, Jeannine Arsenault, client information officer with the Wellington Rural Action Centre; Jeannette Arsenault, spokesperson for the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce; guest speakers Paul Gillespie and Tania Bernard, loan officers with the CBDC Central PEI; Angèle Arsenault, president of the Conseil de développement coopératif de l’Î.-P.-É.; and Bonnie Gallant, executive director of RDÉE Prince Edward Island.

For more information:

Raymond J. Arsenault
Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI
(902) 854-3439, Ext. 231

Tania Bernard
Bilingual loan officer
CBDC Central PEI
(902) 888-3793