Debbie Wilton beamed with pride as she took part in the 30th anniversary celebrations of Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) Long Range on Wednesday.
That’s because when she went to start her business, The Video Shoppe in Stephenville, back in 1994, she applied to them for a loan and was successful.
She remembers talking to CBDC director Mary Lambert, who always made sure everything in her business was going well.
The Video Shoppe became the “hub of the community,” providing all kinds of services to not-for-profit organizations. Wilton was also a mentor for Youth Ventures participants, who often sold their wares at her business.
This got her even more involved with CBDC Long Range, so a year and a half ago, when Mary Lambert called her to serve on the board, she found it easy to say yes.
“I’m so glad to be on the board and help young entrepreneurs fulfil their dreams of starting a business, just as I did,” Wilton said.
She said it was no surprise to her that CBDC Long Range has lasted 30 years, especially because of what they did for her — their thoughtfulness, dedication and willingness to help.
“Now that I’m on the board, I can see what they did for me they’re now doing for others, which makes me want the organization to be around for another 30 years plus,” Wilton said.
She still supports Youth Ventures with her business and continues to encourage young people to follow their dreams of having their own business.
“Life is good,” Wilton said.
During the event, Lambert, who has been with the organization since its inception, was presented with gifts from staff, who called her an awesome boss, and from the board, who had high praise for her dedication.
Lambert said she still loves her job after 30 years, and that staff and the board have made it easier for her to do that job.
She also thanked her clients and all the support she has got from them.
CBDC Long Range 30 years:
- Formed in 1987 as Long Range Community Futures.
- First board chair – Don Powell of a 16-member board.
- 1989 – CBDC was formed with a seven-member board.
- First board chair – Wayne King.
- Sylvia Alexander played a pivotal role in building the CBDC.
- First loan approved in May 1991 for $28,500.
- Total for first year was $529,128.
- First five years the average annual disbursement was $485,865.
- Currently five years total disbursement is $8,252,679.
- 1998 — FRAM (Fisheries Collapse) Fund came into place — $1.4 million.
- Loan limit increases from $150,000 to current $225,000.
- Disbursement during the past 26 years — $29,033,469 to over 800 clients.
Source: CBDC Long Range