The staff who make up Mid-Sask Community Futures in Outlook may be modest in numbers, but the goal remains the same of being a dependable and attractive partner to businesses and entrepreneurs who are looking to put down roots in this part of the province.
Administrative assistant Jill Lee along with new general manager Jaimie Malmgren welcomed people with an open house event on Thursday afternoon, September 9 at Mid-Sask's new office location at 224 Franklin Street, offering refreshments on top of their expertise know-how when it comes to helping small or medium-sized businesses get their foot in the door.
With an extensive background in the field of development, Jaimie feels like her new digs at Mid-Sask are a good fit.
"I think it's been going good," she said, asked about her new position. "My background is economic development and working with business startups, so this was a good transition from where I was at Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce. It still enables me to help businesses and help the economic region of Mid-Sask."
With a new GM and new location, Jaimie says Mid-Sask is heading in a direction that includes fostering new relationships of all kinds and making sure that the entrepreneurial sector of Saskatchewan is aware of what the business can offer.
"Well, I'm all about building relationships, and so I think that's a direction where we want to go - create more awareness of the offerings that we do here and the business advice that we can provide," said Malmgren. "Anything we can do to help our economic region thrive and businesses start up and expand. It's a great time to be in business."
With Mid-Sask covering such an extensive region, not only including Outlook but stretching to communities such as Biggar, Davidson, and Warman, Jaimie says that it's important to maintain relationships and help fill in the gaps of what may be needed in certain areas from a business perspective.
"I think it's really important to build relationships and have those contacts," she said. "Our region is really big, and each different area of our region has different needs and focuses, so just reestablishing relationships with economic development officers and the chambers of commerce, and just staying connected that way is really helpful to gaining a better understanding of what's going on and what the needs are."
Currently on the go for Mid-Sask are a couple of upcoming events that they're excited about.
"Our open house today has been good, and we're excited to let everyone know that we've moved," said Jaimie. "We've had a lot of people passing by and looking in. On the 16th, we have Donald Cooper with Cooper Canada speaking at a virtual 'lunch and learn'. He's going to talk about how to increase and better your business while still having a life outside the business. That's a complementary event that we're offering to anybody that's interested. On the 22nd of September, we have our AGM. We have a couple of new board members that are joining the board from different areas of the mid-Sask region. We're really excited to have them come onboard and help take the organization to a new level."
Malmgren says the most rewarding part of her job is seeing the progress that comes with seeing businesses realize their potential, and being in the corner of entrepreneurs brings its own kind of perks.
"I think it's seeing the ideas come out," she said. "We have entrepreneurs come who maybe haven't established their business yet and they just come with an idea, and we help them through the stages of their business plan. Seeing those success stories and innovative and creative ideas that business owners have, and being a part of that in helping them succeed is absolutely the best part of this job."
For more on Mid-Sask Community Futures, visit them online at cfsask.ca/mid-sask.