A running man who has been known to lace up his fair share of runners, Scot McNair equates starting a new business to that of going for a long jog.
The path may have its twists, turns and hills, but if you work hard and build momentum, it will make crossing the finish line worth all the effort.
As the new Loans Coordinator at Community Futures North Okanagan (CNFO), McNair joins a team that has helped countless entrepreneurs and small business owners bring their ideas into reality.
“I get a lot of inspiration in seeing the successes of the people who have gone through the programs here at Community Futures,” said McNair. “This is very much a team atmosphere with everyone offering their experience. At the end of the day, it has benefitted clients in ways that go beyond starting a new job or business.”
McNair has come out of semi-retirement to take on the loans coordinator role at CFNO, a position previously held by Rob Short.
After almost four decades of working in financial institutions across B.C., McNair retired from his final banking job last year, coincidently at the same institution where he began his career. He started as a trainee with the Scotia Bank in downtown Vernon in 1979 and retired there as branch manager in 2017.
“What made me stay in banking were the people, the customers and the community. I made friends in every community we lived in,” says McNair, who discovered a passion for running during a post-retirement gig selling gear at The Starting Block.
Later, McNair realized he missed connecting with the wider community, so when the job posting at CFNO opened up, McNair said he knew he had to put his name in the hat.
“It’s a departure from banking. The rules are different. This is not just helping entrepreneurs and businesses access loans for start-up, expansion or for other reasons – some may need money, some may not. This is about putting them in the best position we can to be successful in the future,” he says.
As a coach and advisor, McNair will help clients find ways they can move forward.
Not only does CFNO’s business loans program help with business financing and business start-up and planning, the department also offers clients workshops, marketing and promotions training, as well as small business operations and succession planning.
And while McNair looks forward to meeting with clients and hearing all their ideas, he says he will also be honest and open in assisting them in taking the idea to reality.
“The opportunity to be successful is a process and it will not be an overnight thing,” he says. “My role is to ask the questions that help people find the answers to develop a great business plan and find their market. It’s about building a foundation so the chances of a successful future are increased.”
Community Futures North Okanagan is a community-based not-for-profit corporation offering a comprehensive selection of business and employer services, employment assistance services, and economic development as determined and required by local and regional communities. CF North Okanagan serves the geographical region located at the north end of the Okanagan Valley, encompassing the communities of Armstrong, Cherryville, Coldstream, Enderby, Grindrod, Spallumcheen, Lumby and Vernon, as well as the Okanagan and Spallumcheen Indian Bands.
Entrepreneurs interested in opening or expanding a business through Community Futures North Okanagan’s business loans program can get more information by calling 250-545-2215 or visit futuresbc.com.
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