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Michael Selci, BDC’s Senior Vice-President for the Prairies region.

Michael Selci, BDC’s Senior Vice-President for the Prairies region.
Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

When many see gloom and doom, an intrepid few see opportunity.

This is a description that aptly describes the Calgary entrepreneurs who work with BDC.

“Frankly, right now the narrative is sometimes a little negative in terms of what’s going on with the economy here,” says Michael Selci, BDC’s senior vice-president for the Prairies region.

“But I see a lot of business owners taking advantage of the conditions and drawing on our services as a result — whether it’s financing to buy equipment and real estate, or working capital to grow their company.”

The Business Development Bank of Canada — commonly referred to as BDC — is indeed a linchpin for many small and medium-sized enterprises’ growth and success, providing both critical financing and advice that otherwise is out of reach for these companies.

What’s more, the federal Crown corporation strives to adjust to the needs of businesses, especially during challenging times.

“During the downturn in Alberta, in 2015 and 2016, for example, we proactively reached out to clients and offered principal postponements on their loans,” says Selci.

Indeed, BDC is a patient lender.

“Often we allow longer repayment periods like 25 years on a commercial property,” Selci says. “That’s just one of many ways we respond to companies and their unique needs.”

As such, BDC often plays an important role in the energy industry during good times and bad.

“We established some specific loan programs that helped energy services companies reinvest, retool and innovate.”

To help Calgary entrepreneurs, a company must be proactive to what lies ahead, Selci adds.

“When I visit companies, the owners are focused on growing their business.”

Rather than retreating from risk, these entrepreneurs are focused on finding opportunities. And BDC is always ready to walk with them on this journey. This includes helping many businesses capitalize on the pullback in prices for commercial real estate, providing financing for purchasing a new property.

“There are just so many opportunities despite the challenges,” Selci says. “And we’re ready to help in any way we can.”

This feature was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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