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Community Futures Ontario recognizes the BizLink Program as the Community Economic Development (CED) Project of the year.

BizLink, a regional Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) program, connects new entrepreneurs with retiring business owners and supports them through successful business transitions, simultaneously developing successful entrepreneurs who create employment, maintain valuable goods and service offerings, and contribute to local economies. With proven knowledge and tools, the program confidentially and anonymously guides entrepreneurs through the full transition process and provides wrap around support for the entire life cycle of a business. To date, the program has assisted with 79 successful business transitions, and trained and developed 1,187 people through coaching and workshop attendance.

The program was created and is administered by Orillia Area CDC, Nottawasaga Futures, Community Futures South Georgian Bay, and North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation.

Congratulations to the program administrators for the success of the BizLink Program! Thank you to the Sponsor of this Award: Sharon Wilson, the Benefits Lady.


Each year, Community Futures Ontario, a government funded program to facilitate rural economic development, recognizes the successes and impact of Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs). In 2023, they presented three awards: Entrepreneur of the Year, Outstanding Youth Entrepreneur, and Award of Excellence for Community Economic Development (CED).




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From left: Martin Kuzma (Nottawasaga Futures), Arthur Barrows (North Simcoe CFDC), Sharon Wilson (The Benefits Lady), Carol Benedetti (Orillia Area CDC), Wendy Timpano (Orillia Area CDC), Gillian Fairley (CF South Georgian Bay)