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Our History

Community Futures Huron Logo


Community Futures Huron is a not‐for‐profit organization serving the communities of Huron County since 1993. As a Community Futures Development Corporation, we are mandated by and partially funded through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (a.k.a. FedDev Ontario). 

CFH operations are overseen by a 13‐member volunteer Board of Directors. These individuals represent the various communities and economic sectors of Huron County. In addition to possessing financial, strategic planning and community development skills, board members are committed to improving the local economy through their involvement in community‐based business and economic development initiatives. 

What is Our Purpose? Our Mission Statement is kept purposely broad to encompass the full range of activities that we undertake in the name of Community Economic Development:

“Help Entrepreneurs Make Their Futures In Huron County”


  • The word “Help” suggests that we provide services to assist our clients achieve their aspirations – we are facilitators, but they, not us, are the drivers of their own vision;
  • By “Entrepreneur”, we mean not only business owners, but visionary individuals in the community that see an opportunity to improve the quality of life. Community leaders, municipal officials, not‐for‐profits, youth, volunteers are all regarded as “entrepreneurs” in their own right;
  • “Making Futures Happen” reflects the expansive range of activities that we support and encourage – everything from small business financing to festival development, sustainable manufacturing to on‐line learning; workforce attraction to youth engagement; downtown revitalization to social enterprise development.

What Do We Offer? Each year, the Federal Government awards Community Futures Huron with performance‐based funding of approximately $250,000. With these resources, the Community Futures Huron provides:

  •  Free Staff Input & Advice into economic planning and project development (e.g. Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health; Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity)
  • Access to CED Project Funding, either directly through the HBDC annual operating budget; in partnership with other agencies (e.g. Huron Economic Development Partnership) or through other external sources (e.g. Ontario Trillium Foundation; Libro Prosperity Fund; etc.);
  • CED Project Management Services to support the operation and administration of community‐based initiatives (e.g. Huron Food Action Network; Edge Renewal Fund; Huron Manufacturing Association);
  • Free One-on-One Management Consulting for business ventures;
  • Access to Commercial Loans for small and medium enterprises (e.g. Community Futures Huron Investment Fund; Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation).

The Community Futures Huron is housed at the Huron Business Centre in Seaforth along with the Huron Manufacturing Association, Service Canada and the Centres for Employment & Learning.

“So What Goes on at the CFH?

Peoples’ Questions Get Answered 

Over 50 individual inquiries are served every month, including questions from business owners and community leaders involved in economic development. For example, each month, approximately 15 entrepreneurs receive extensive one‐to‐one consulting on business management topics ranging from marketing and finance to business taxes and employee management. Another 40 attend our popular Better Business and Business By Design workshops. We are Huron County’s one‐stop source for information on business and economic development.

Bright Ideas Get the Support They Need                           

Every month, the CFH Board of Directors reviews loan and project applications from Huron County entrepreneurs and organizations. Most people come to us because they cannot obtain financing elsewhere. Since inception in 1993, the CFH has disbursed over $12 million in commercial loans to small businesses throughout Huron County. At the same time, the CFH funds explorations into new emerging opportunities for economic development, including, most recently a commercial wine industry in the region. By helping finance new sectors and value‐added opportunities, the CFH creates a more diversified and stable economy.

Good Things Happen in Our Community

Over the past 2 decades, CFH has been a proud partner in over 400 distinct economic development and business projects. We have invested over $30 million in economic development programs in co‐operation with dozens of agencies at the federal, provincial and regional levels. These projects run the gamut from tourism product development to school‐to‐work bridging programs and even doctor recruitment. In our own way, we do our part to help make Huron County the wonderful place that it is.


For Instance, Ever Heard Of?


          Blyth Centre for the Arts?                                       Seaforth Country Golf Classic?

          The Garlic Box?                                                     New United Goderich?

          Bayfield River Valley Trail?                                     Goderich Performance Centre?

          Iceculture?                                                              Walton Motocross?

          South Huron Cultural Collective?                           Sloman School‐on‐Wheels?

          Huron Arts & Heritage Network?                           Coastal Coffee Company? 

          West Coast Blues Festival?                                   Bruce‐Huron Produce Auction? 

          Farmers’ Markets?                                                 Edge Renewal Fund?

          Vital Imagery/                                    Blyth Farm Cheese?

          Menesetung Bridge?                                              Dark Horse Winery?

          Gateway Centre of Excellence?                             Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story?

          Reuben R. Sallows Gallery?                                 The Black Dog?

          Field Gate Organics Co‐operative?                       Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity?


The above represent just a small sampling of some of the many ventures that Community Futures Huron has supported over the years. In many instances, CFH involvement was critical to their on‐going success.



Since inception in October 1993, the Huron Business Development Corporation has invested a total of $31,538,269 of public funds into local economic development initiatives. As of March 31st, 2017, these investments have helped launch or expand 2,722 commercial enterprises throughout Huron County, or approximately 40% of all farms and businesses in the region. In turn, these enterprises employ 9,533 people, or approximately 30% of the Huron County labour force.

Putting things in perspective, on average, the CFH helps launch 2 business ventures/week - week-in and week-out, while roughly 8 jobs are created or maintained in the Huron County economy. The average one-time public cost/ job to the taxpayer through contributions made by the Community Futures Huron is just $3,219. This number compares very favourably with other federal & provincial job creation programs.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, for every $1 that the CFH lends to business, another $4.50 of economic activity is generated locally. For Huron County, this translates into $5.8 M in new incremental economic activity in the past year alone.

This translates into approximately $334 million in wages and salaries generated in the area each and every year, with about $7.7 million of that going back to municipal coffers in the form of property taxes and another $20.7 million to the federal government in income and business taxes.

We could not do this without the support of the Federal Government’s Community Futures Program; our long-standing partnership with the  County of Huron;  the dedication of numerous community volunteers; our extensive networks throughout the region, and of course, the many private, civic and social entrepreneurs who keep striving to “make good things happen” in Huron County.