Success Stories
CBDCs Support and Celebrate Success of NL Businesses
Big Land B & B
Eleonora and Raymond Godwin wanted to take control of their own future. With news of uncertainty surrounding their jobs at the military base, they saw an opportunity and wasted no time taking advantage. Eleonora and Ray opened Big Land Bed & Breakfast in February of 2014 in the heart of Happy Valley Goose Bay. They provide tourist with a unique experience by providing a cozy 'Home away from Home' vacation destination in their 3 bedroom home. They are currently the only full time employees and like it that way, "The best part of what we do is meeting so many different people from all over the world. We get to learn about their culture and their adventures the same way they get to learn about ours." Eleonora and Ray started their venture with the goal of "making any traveller feel at home and comfortable in Labrador. We wanted to share our knowledge of the area and connect our guest with other organizations and people that could help create a great travel experience."

Big Land B&B was a project of passion for the Godwin's. It wasn't easy at first, they weren't really sure where to start. They began by researching what was needed in their community and then reached out to NLOWE (Newfoundland & Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs). NLOWE helped extend the Godwin's research and put them in contact with the CBDC. Raymond says "CBDC was a big part in getting us started. Thanks to them we were able to do the necessary renovations to get started. They saw our dream and were only too happy to help by guiding us and committing to our goal."

Business Tip from Big Land Bed and Breakfast :
"Be sure that what you start is a passion. Think in terms of a long term goal. It will succeed if your heart is into it. That's what makes it easy to do. "

Eleonora & Raymond Godwin are fearless. Will you #BeFearless?
H & F Designs Ltd.
Joanne Flynn & Haley Hancock are the owners of H&F Designs Ltd., a retail company specializing in design and print services. This eye popping print shop is located in Forteau, a community on the southern shore of Labrador. After starting only a little over a year ago, the print shop already employs one other person and is looking for another employee in the near future.

To get started Joanne & Haley first contacted their local BTCRD representative Jamie Pye, who put them in contact with Nunacor and from there CBDC. During this process they were able to start their business plan and secure funding from the CBDC's First Time Entrepreneur loan.

When asked what their goal for their business was the girls said "It's simple really, we want to become the best at what we do." We are grateful for the knowledge the CBDC passed on to us to help us succeed in the business world. We love being small business owners; we have the independence of working for ourselves which is very fulfilling personally and enjoy the flexible hours.

Our advice for anyone wanting to work for themselves is to make sure you are dedicated and committed to working the tough hours to get your business growing. It's not easy at the beginning but if you're willing to work for it, you can make it.

To learn more about H & F Designs, you can drop by 35 Main Street in Forteau, NL or call 709-931-2222.
Simms Cash & Carry Inc.
Meet Connie & Jason Simms, Owners of Simms Cash & Carry Inc. Connie and Jason have a long history of entrepreneurship and have been working on their current business since 1999. They have been CBDC clients from the very beginning and still work with us to this day. We sat down with Connie to ask her about the story of the business and her thoughts on buying local.

When did your business start?
Our current business location is quite recent since we only opened our doors in mid February of 2016. However, our business history goes back much further to 1999, where we got our first start with the help of CBDC and is what led us on the path we have taken.

How many employees do you have?
Currently, we have 2 full-time and 2 part-time employees, in addition to ourselves, who work at the business full-time. We have, however, found that we require additional help and plan to search for another employee in the near future.

Where did the idea for your business come from?
Our business experience actually began back in 1999 with the idea of a coffee shop. My love of baking and desire to find work during the winter months of unemployment from my summer job as a payroll clerk, which I held for 10 years prior, is what led me to pursue a career in business, initially. This business turned out being successful enough to employ both, myself, and my husband full-time and the 17 years to follow has brought about the many changes that has led us to where we are today.

How did you get started with your business?
With financial help from CBDC, we were able to acquire a small building and renovate it to operate as a small coffee shop called Connie's Cafe. We operated this way for a few months until the opportunity arose to buy equipment from a takeout that was closing down. We received further funding, through CBDC, to make an addition to our building and operate as a take-out/coffee shop for a year and a half. In December of 2001, we were presented with another opportunity which involved leasing to own a retail grocery store and, by the spring of 2002, we, again, received funding from CBDC to renovate the upper level of that building to accommodate a restaurant with seating for 44, relocating Connie's Cafe and operating under two business names, Simms Cash and Carry and Harbourview Restaurant. A short time later, we added a small bakery and within a few years had, also, leased to own another business that had closed down, in order to acquire their meat cutting facility. This location is where we decided to build our new store which houses all aspects of our business under the one roof and on one level, operating asSimms Cash & Carry Inc. Just two months after opening, we were successful in obtaining a Liquor Express license, as well.

What is your favorite part about owning your own business/ your work?
I really enjoy interacting with the customers on a daily basis and, everyday, I get to do what I enjoy; baking. It's very rewarding when you get to see your hard work pay off in the form of repeat customers; suggesting that we must be doing something right. My husband, Jason, as well, loves what he does and he is very good at it. We both feel blessed with the support from our customers and we try our best to accommodate them in any way possible, which can be a real challenge in rural Labrador, especially with regards to fresh produce.

What is your advice for anyone wanting to go into business?
My advice is to be prepared to put in plenty of is so important to be dedicated to your business, to be present and to not expect more from your employees than you are willing to give yourself. It is my belief that you only get out as much as you put in.

How did the CBDC help you reach your goals?
From the very beginning, 17 years ago, we have received, both, financial, and I would say, moral support from CBDC which is huge when you are trying to build a business. You have to know that someone believes you have what it takes to succeed and are willing to speak on your behalf. It can be very daunting when trying to secure funding and sometimes you wonder if it's worth it but the exceptional service and support we received from CBDC urged us onwards.

What sets you apart from your competitors at the big box stores?
I believe that the one-on-one interaction with our customers gives us that personal aspect that they appreciate. I like to believe that they always feel welcome and free to offer suggestions, which we take seriously, whether it be regarding additional items or services they would like to see offered or an additional service they would like to have provided. We accept and appreciate constructive criticism because this is how we learn and grow.

What is the impact (in your opinion) of buying local as opposed to spending money outside the community?
It is so important for customers to support the local economy because this is what helps us prosper and grow, enabling us to better accommodate our customers needs. Without their support, we run the risk of failure and, I believe, life in a rural community without small businesses would be devastating, if not unbearable.

Thanks Connie for sharing your story with us!

If you'd like to learn more about Simms Cash & Carry Inc. you can find them @ 135 main street in Mary's Harbour, NL.
reach them @ 709-921-6959
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