Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. With more than 1.3 million across Canada and approximately 38,000 right here in Manitoba, these small companies are driving local economies, providing jobs and are vital to Canada’s prosperity.
That’s why the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) organizes Small Business Week each year to celebrate entrepreneurship in Canada and has done so for the last 40 years. This year they are taking time to recognize the resiliency of small business and their ability to adapt during one of the most challenging economic crises in history.
Businesses small and large have faced unprecedented challenges throughout 2020. Being nimble and having the ability to pivot quickly has been the name of the game and companies that have been able to do so are slowly weathering this storm.
But pandemic aside, businesses are often presented with challenges and choosing the right financial institution can often be crucial to their success. Simply put, financial institutions play an important role in a company’s success and we are seeing more and more small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) turn to credit unions for support.
If you are looking at starting your own business or already have a home-based business or small business, Westoba Credit Union wants to be there to work with you and guide your company toward success now and into the future. Here are the top five ways we can help support your small business in 2021.
1. A team dedicated to you
If you own a small business located in Winnipeg, Brandon, or the Westman region, chances are one of our 16 branch locations is near you. We are committed to the local businesses in our communities, which is why we have a team dedicated to supporting the needs of small businesses. This team is full of knowledgeable and experienced professionals available to help in-person, online, and over the phone. Westoba even offers mobile services when and where it’s convenient for members.
PHOTO: Westoba Credit Union Business Banking Team
Our team can also help develop a business plan for your business, so you don’t need to have everything perfectly mapped out before reaching out to us. When you meet with someone on our team, we can get a better understanding of your financial situation, learn more about your future or current business, and we can come up with a plan together.
Rhonda Oakden, Manager of Westoba Financial Solutions Ltd. says, “Just as important for individuals and families, businesses should also go through the process of creating a financial plan. It helps to see the big picture and set long and short-term business goals, a crucial step in mapping out the business’s financial future. When a business has a financial plan, it's easier to make financial decisions and stay on track to meet the goals outlined.”
This plan will take into consideration the overall budget, cash flow requirements, tax planning etc. This will help us better recommend the right products to suit your situation and business goals.
2. Solutions to meet your goals
Every business is different when it comes to the products and services they require. In order to meet the needs of our customers, we offer many solutions.
To start, we recommend that businesses separate their business finances from their personal finances. This is easily done by opening up new accounts for a business. We generally recommend a new chequing account and we have a variety to choose from depending on the nature of your business.
“Our approval process is much more flexible than that of larger banks.”
Members may also want to consider a business-specific credit card. Our line of Westoba Collabria credit cards are geared toward businesses and include the Visa Infinite Business Card, Low Rate Business Mastercard, and No Fee Cash Back Business Mastercard. Each card has a different set of benefits and we suggest members sit down with someone on our team to determine which one is the best fit for them. Contact our Business Banking Team today.
Certain businesses may require mortgages, loans and lines of credit. Westoba offers all of these with some of the best interest rates and terms available. Our approval process also tends to be more flexible than that of larger banks. For the convenience of our members, we are a “one-stop-shop”, offering online banking, night deposits, CAFT payments, bill payment vendor setup, wire transfers, front of line service for deposits and withdrawals, deposit books, business cheques, and coin and cash orders.
3. Flexible & personalized service
A recent report released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) shows that credit unions are rated more favourably than conventional banks in providing services to SMEs. Credit Unions really stood out in the areas of fees and account management, where they scored significantly higher than all other financial institutions.
Many businesses often have a difficult time accessing the financing they need for their business to grow and succeed. At Westoba, we are dedicated to supporting our local businesses and we do our best to make credit readily available, as quickly as possible. Finding solutions for our members is always our goal.
“Our end goal is to work hard to help ensure our members have successful and profitable small businesses.”
We also work hard to get to know all of our members and build a one-on-one relationship with them. We want members to feel like they are part of the Westoba family, and we think this friendly, personalized service goes a long way. Our end goal is to work hard to help ensure our members have successful and profitable small businesses.
4. Invested in your community
We want to support local businesses because we are a local business. And because we are local, we are very connected to the communities we serve. We believe in the power of giving back and for this reason, we invest our profits here at home where our members live and work. Each year, hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and sponsorships, and thousands of staff volunteer hours go back into the communities we serve.
This has allowed us to be more in touch with what is going on in the community, including local business conditions. A strong, local economy relies on the strength of small businesses, which is why supporting local companies is so very important to us.
Building Community. One Business at a time. That’s our belief here at Westoba. We understand the important role local businesses play in our economy and we’re proud to be a part of the process. Below, you’ll find Westoba’s infographic: Credit Unions Helping Small Business Stay on Track. As a small business owner, where you choose to do your banking can have a major impact on your long-term plans. That’s why credit unions continue to be the top performers when it comes to serving small businesses’ overall financial needs according to CFIB.
Connect with us today and learn more about how we can help your business in 2021 and well into the future. It all starts with a conversation with one of our advisors on our Business Banking Team, visit to book an appointment today!