by CCEC Admin
June 24, 20202020
We all play a part to create an economy that's more just, equitable, and sustainable.
At CCEC, your funds allow us to support local, grassroots businesses and reinvest in our community. For over 45 years we have served member organizations and individuals who are underserved to meet their basic human needs and rights, for community enterprises and community action.
At this time, it is even more important that we shop local and eat seasonal produce. Your independent owned or co-operative business contributes to your neighbourhoods’ arts, culture and sports. They build community, connect us to each other and form our economic activity.
A member recently commented, “We appreciate the role CCEC plays in Community Economic Development and your roots from the Community Congress for Economic Change.”
Community Economic Development (CED) is a core value for CCEC. We know that CED empowers communities to shape how the local economy provides for them and how it impacts their lives. We can ask ourselves, “What kind of community is created and sustained by the local economy, and how do we include the people who may be left out.” CCEC supports a Just Recovery and an economy where there is a shortening of the supply chain.
Local businesses help our communities by:
Creating diverse, inclusive employment
Adapting to challenges
Being proactive, prepared, and resilient.
There is an additional economic benefit to an area when money is spent in the local economy. Independent locally-owned businesses recirculate a far greater percentage of revenue locally compared to absentee-owned businesses (or locally-owned franchises*). In other words, going local creates more local wealth and jobs.
CCEC has always kept your money in your community to support our local economic development. We encourage our members to shop or keep shopping local to support our arts, culture, sports, restaurants, greengrocers and other neighbourhood businesses.
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by CCEC Admin
December 23, 20152015
Meet Andrea and Jeremy, long time members of CCEC who have opened a new business, The Village Dispensary, serving artisan coffee and teas* (not infused with cannabis) and a dispensary. Vancouver has had operational dispensaries for almost 20 years with the support of the municipal government and local police force. The City is a leader in this marketplace providing a framework for the rest of Canada to look to as the Federal Government has indicated its’ intent to move forward with legalization and regulation. Andrea and Jeremy call themselves cannabis consultants. Their dispensary promotes the value of the plant with products scientifically tested to deal effectively with chronic ailments such as cancer, MS and Parkinson’s Disease plus; plus a therapeutic stream to address sleep disorders, PMS, menopause, anxiety and other issues.
The Village Dispensary is a local business that sells products from ‘mom and pop shops’ including Apothecary Labs and Canna Life Botanicals. Andrea asserts that this is about a plant that has been used medicinally for over 9000 years and has been studied clinically by Dr. Raphael Mechuolam starting in 1964 and he was the first scientist to isolate THC from the plant in 1965, then discovered the endocannabinoid system in the early 80's. This is creating green jobs, growing our local economy, and feeding the local market. Both Andrea and Jeremy are very entrepreneurial. Andrea has owned Café du Soleil, Ragz n Rerunzz, earthbabies and was a partner in the baby carrier product, The Happy Sac; while Jeremy, a mechanical engineer, founded and operated a renewable energy contracting business called, exchangenergy inc. Andrea says, “As peri-menopause began to show its face, I was able to address some of the symptoms with cannabis.” She adds, “It is important that I am able to share that experience with other women and their partners. That is one of the reasons The Village was conceived." With this in mind, she also is involved with the local chapter of Women Grow Vancouver. Her partner, Jeremy, a chronic sufferer of back pain that is relieved with cannabis products says, “I'm excited to bring top shelf medical cannabis that both connoisseurs and the canna-curious can experience. BC hosts some of the most celebrated artisan growers and makers in the world and we want to see those growers thrive and grow.”
It is hard to pick up the paper or watch the news without seeing an article about medical cannabis. There are an estimated 300 dispensaries in Canada – Vancouver has the most with 100 which is double the number of Starbucks locations – and there are 26 licensed producers sanctioned by the government to grow and supply marijuana only by mail to people with medical prescriptions. In a recent Globe and Mail Article it is noted that provincial governments, health authorities and even the Supreme Court of Canada have affirmed that access is essentially a health issue. CCEC has agreed and provides banking services to some of these businesses.
The potential benefits are changing people’s views. They reference an article by the US National Cancer Institute stating that Cannabis kills cancer. Both Andrea and Jeremy say, “The medical profession should embrace cannabis as an institutionalized treatment in hospitals.” With all the research, the medical profession needs education on cannabis as a treatment regime. At this time, owners of cannabis dispensaries, like Andrea and Jeremy, are self-taught attending many expert lectures, reading, joining professional support groups, watching many documentaries and, knowing their growers. It is time we legitimized their business, formalized the training and education to de-stigmatize the weed, break down the barriers, myths and stereotypes.
* They sell CCEC member, Cease Wyss's products Raven and Hummmingbird teas, salves and tinctures
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by CCEC Admin
June 20, 20132013
A café that is the heart of the community is a hidden gem, for now! Three long time CCEC Members who have lived in the Commercial Street neighbourhood for years, partnered with another friend to open café. Meet Chris Richmond, Pete Tuepah, Nadene Rehnby and Margot Skelhorn.
“CCEC made it possible.
CCEC is more than just a bank.”
Offering Matchstick locally roasted coffee, you can now stay in the hood and don’t need to go to The Drive. Serving up fresh baked muffins daily, vegan and light fare (not a diner), they source local and organic ingredients as much as possible.
The Commercial Street Cafe opened in November 2012 in the heritage building Gow Block. Some people may remember when it used to be Ernie’s Grocery and more recently a store/café. When the space was up for sale, the four friends knew they wanted a great café in the neighbourhood and worked through the steps to make it a reality. While opening a café was not on their bucket list, according to Nadene, they were pleasantly surprised when their bid for the cafe went through and CCEC approved the business loan.
They renovated in nine days to create an open concept space that spans two rooms. They have Pete as head chef in the kitchen, Chris running the day-to-day as the general manager and Nadene busing tables in between her job as a graphic designer. Margot as coffee manager setup the coffee bar and is now on sabbatical back home in Nova Scotia. Tracy Thorn of the Cake Conspiracy, whose cake-decorating business needed more space, uses their kitchen in exchange for baking. It is a great partnership where the food and atmosphere is wonderful.
Commercial Street Café is truly a neighbourhood coffee shop. When I visited on a mid-week morning, there was a steady stream of moms and dads with young kids stopping in for a coffee and baked treat. The owners can walk to work and feel that as they are community based, they have more at stake in running a successful cafe. They haven’t done much advertising and are focused on the day to day operations. They are learning a lot and have plans to grow their business and neighbourhood connections in the years ahead.
“The credit union has been with me through all stages in my life, from my first home, to services related to my graphic design business and now, a commercial mortgage for the café. CCEC is more than a bank. It is about personal relationships where, for example, Shelly provided tips on using our ATM card in Mexico and Nikki sharing tips on visiting Disneyland.” Nadene
“CCEC cares about you. They know you and I’m not lost in the shuffle.” Chris
3599 Commercial Street at East 20th Avenue, Vancouver
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