Micro-Loan recipient becomes Okanagan small business success story

Like many other young entrepreneurs, Andrew Verge’s dream of running a successful small business hasn’t come without its challenges.

Like many other young entrepreneurs, Summerland resident Andrew Verge’s dream of running a successful small business hasn’t come without its challenges.

The owner/operator of Spud Brothers Food Services saw a chance to cash in on the mobile food trend, but a lack of funds kept him from getting any traction. That’s when he turned to a micro-loan program through Valley First, whose financial support helped get his business back on-track.

Verge was a local applicant to the loan program. Designed to help create financing opportunities for young entrepreneurs, loans can range from a few hundred dollars to $5,000. Verge says he was thankful for the financial assistance, but was more grateful for the opportunity to help shape the future of his business and make a real difference in his community.

“I have always liked the idea of doing something that no one else was doing, delivering food right there to the customer, at the beach, at the park, or at the arena,” said Verge. “Now I can stay ahead of the trend, change the look of my business and market it better to ensure customers are getting the best food and the best service possible. The micro-loan program, through Valley First, has provided the opportunity to do that.”

Roger Houle, assistant vice-president of commercial banking at Valley First says Spud Brothers is a great example of how credit unions and entrepreneurs can succeed together.

“We are community driven and we are focused on ensuring that the small businesses in our communities succeed,” said Houle. “We measure our success on their success. It’s exciting to get involved with enthusiastic, well-prepared, local entrepreneurs and help them realize their business opportunities.”

According to Statistics Canada, 46 per cent of B.C. businesses are considered small and have accounted for 47 per cent of all jobs created on average from 2001 to 2010. However, 49 per cent of small businesses also end up closing within the first five years of opening; a daunting trend that Verge is constantly aware of.

“If I hadn’t gone to Valley First and received the micro-loan, it would be tough for me to carry on, and I probably wouldn’t still be in business today,” said Verge. “Certainly the fact that this program exists speaks volumes about values of the credit union.”


Just Posted

First Things First and Penticton Lakeside Resort hosting environmental all-candidates debate Oct. 15

Ahead of the debate, there will be a round table discussion with the candidates

Final day of racing approaching at the Penticton Speedway

The Halloween finale starts at 2 p.m. on Oct. 27.

Travelling around the world of Penticton’s cuisines with Foodtopia

The 500 block celebrated the variety of restaurants on Main Street with a night of specials.

Parts of KVR Trail becoming dumping ground for stolen vehicles

More vehicles are turning up due to more patrolling, says Const. James Grandy

Hungry can enjoy Thanksgiving meal thanks to Soupateria volunteers

Thanksgiving and Christmas busiest time of year, says volunteer Randy Cranston

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Shuswap ski area vies for $250,000 as top-four finalist in national contest

Help needed to accumulate votes or ‘clicks’ Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday for trail lighting project

Letter: Policies need to be put into context

Reader wants to put party policies into the context of money compared to the natural world.

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

Most Read