Microloan Program Press Release

May 24, 2023


New microloan program to propel inclusive business growth in Pictou County

Pictou County, NS – The Pictou County Partnership, East Coast Credit Union, and Pictou County Chamber of Commerce have partnered together to offer a new micro-lending program that will foster inclusive business growth for the region. The micro-loan program will help entrepreneurs access resources and capital needed to grow their businesses.

Under the Micro-Loan Program, entrepreneurs in Pictou County who self-identify as being female, and/or Black, Indigenous, and/or other racialized persons, and/or 2SLGBTQ+ are eligible to apply for a loan of up to $10,000.

“Supporting entrepreneurs and community economic development at a grass roots level is core to the principles and values of the credit union movement,” said Wade Beck, Director, Business Services, East Coast Credit Union.

All financial aspects of the loan will be managed by the East Coast Credit Union, with the Pictou County Partnership providing one-on-one business support and navigation to additional resources that the entrepreneurs may require such as business planning, support for export, workforce development, and growth. As part of the initiative, participants will submit monthly status reports to the Pictou County Partnership on their success.

“Our own research showed that accessing capital was one of the largest barriers to growth for entrepreneurs in Pictou County. Support in accessing capital overall, combined with a need to increase support to equity-deserving groups are two specific areas we intend to focus on in the next three years,” says Wade Tibbo, Business and Innovation Manager, Pictou County Partnership. “This program will help address the need of accessing capital for those entrepreneurs who are faced with more barriers. We want the message to be clear to all entrepreneurs in Pictou County now and in the future; we are here for you.”

The Pictou County Chamber of Commerce will offer a one-year membership to the chamber providing access to group insurance benefit plans, and networking events.

“This program is a great opportunity to work with the Pictou County Partnership and the East Coast Credit Union to provide value to the local business community, and to address needed resources,” said Jack Kyte, Executive Director, Pictou County Chamber of Commerce.

The program is modelled after the Cape Breton Partnership’s micro-loan program for female entrepreneurs.

Each application will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and will use the East Coast Credit Union’s existing adjudication and due diligence process in making decisions to grant loans. The loans will be offered at a preferred interest rate with zero per cent interest for the first six months. For more information on how to apply, please visit pictoucountypartnership.com.  


Media Contact:  
Heather Knight
Pictou County Partnership