Local Journalism Initiative
FORT COULONGE – On September 7, the Pontiac Community Futures Development Corporation (SADC) held a grand opening to welcome clients, partners, and community members to its newly renovated building. The event was well attended, featuring speeches from MRC Warden Jane Toller and Fort-Coulonge Mayor Christine Francoeur. Pontiac MP Sophie Chatel and MNA André Fortin also sent messages of support.
The SADC moved from Campbell’s Bay to its new location in Fort-Coulonge in August 2021. The move provided a larger workspace to accommodate a growing team and allowed the organization to expand their services. Rhonda Perry, SADC director, said the new location is ideal for taking part in the revitalization of downtown Fort-Coulonge and invites walk-ins as people go about their day downtown. “It was our goal not only to be part of the revitalization of downtown… but to also expand our services to the community,” said Brittany Morin, marketing advisor.
And expand services they have: offering two work-share office spaces and a modern conference room available to the public during regular business hours. The updates also include a reception area, six staff offices, a full kitchen, dining area, staff lounge, and public washrooms.
“The workspace is fresh; it’s fun to come to work,” said Perry. The renovations were designed and completed by ODesign & Co of Chelsea, QC, and Constructions Morin & Fils Inc. of Mansfield, along with subcontractors.
For the past 38 years, the SADC has provided expert assistance and support to rural entrepreneurs in the MRC and Municipality of Pontiac. A federally-funded national organization, the SADC has offices across rural Canada. They offer small businesses financing, technical support, and consulting services. They also assist entrepreneurs in finding various resources. Additionally, they provide assistance with economic development to municipalities.
Notably, the SADC played a pivotal role in supporting businesses during the COVID pandemic. Charged with managing federal emergency funds for businesses, they delivered much-needed financing quickly, often in a matter of days. They provided funds and free consulting that gave businesses the agility to respond to the pandemic with new business models like online shopping and curbside pick-up. Currently, the SADC is preparing to launch new information and training sessions on the latest business trends. Dates for these sessions will be posted in the next few weeks on the SADC’s website at: www.sadcpontiac.ca.