NEW MINAS - An organization that helps individuals labelled with intellectual disabilities become entrepreneurs is in dire need of donations.
“What we’re looking for is an influx of cash to help us with our current cash flow problem,” said Kate Trevors, executive director of the Community Association of People for Real Enterprise (CAPRE).
CAPRE receives regular funding payments from the provincial government in April in October each year, but it’s not uncommon for payroll-related concerns to arise in between the scheduled payments.
“Every year at this time it’s a struggle to get the bills paid,” said Trevors.
This year, however, the need for donations is more pressing than usual.
“It’s worse this year than others because we have increased our staff,” said Trevors.
CAPRE has nine employees counting Trevors, and 10 entrepreneurs receiving one-on-one support. The number of entrepreneurs grew from six following a recent relocation from Canning to 8736 Commercial Street in New Minas.
“We’re bursting at the seams,” said Trevors.
Two of the entrepreneurs kept their businesses based in Canning, and the remaining eight all have a space of their own in CAPRE’s new headquarters.
“The entrepreneurs are all individual business owners. They work for themselves with a one-on-one support person,” said Trevors.
Customers can visit CAPRE to learn more about the individual businesses, or purchase products made by the entrepreneurs.
"It gives a purpose in the day to the entrepreneurs who would otherwise be stuck at home, probably in front of a television,” said Trevors.
“They all come to work excited, and happy to be here with their friends.”
The business ventures include: Lee’s Shop, Walt’s Laundry Service, Crystal’s Pantry, MC Shredder Company, Mr. B’s Makery, Kim’s Crafts, Alicia’s Pet Services, Murf Makes It! and Jody Delivery.
“REAL Enterprise means we are not just sitting around here colouring. We are making products that are needed, and we’re providing services that are needed within the community,” said Trevors.
“We don’t do busy work here. We do actual work that creates an economy for the entrepreneur.”
CAPRE provides the entrepreneurs with ongoing support and guidance as they pursue a means to earn an income through a micro or small business enterprise. The entrepreneurs specialize in such things as arts and crafts, paper shredding and disposal, full-scale laundry services, pet care and treats, chocolates – and the list goes on.
“Seeing the joy on their faces as they learn a new skill or create a new product and then sell it, that’s the true joy. The success in their day is the success in my day,” said Trevors.
“Watching them succeed is the absolute best thing.”
Donations can be dropped off a CAPRE’s New Minas location, submitted online through www.capre.org or sent to firstname.lastname@example.org via e-mail money transfers.
“I just hope that people will give generously because at this time of year we really need the help and there is no amount too small or too large that we wouldn’t put to good use,” said Trevors.