Smith Cycle is a family-run business that is part of a legacy of bike enthusiasts who have been serving Chatham-Kent since 1932. Today, Smith Cycle is owned by Matt and Tanya Ytsma, who personally share a passion for cycling.

In September 2023, Matt received support from the Community Futures Program through the Community Futures Development Corporation of Chatham-Kent to purchase the business and building from its current owners. Having worked for Smith Cycle and More for 25 years, he saw this as a great opportunity to keep the legacy that the Smith family built while continuing to do something he loves.

“I have worked with Smith Cycle since the spring of 1997. Todd Smith was the third-generation owner at the time. In the late summer of 2022, Todd finally decided to offer the business to me. I couldn’t be happier at the time. I was already running the company, and things were going well. We began to go through the succession plan process and get things lined up for the purchase.

“I began searching right away for a bank or institution to line up for the loan payout on the property. I originally spoke with multiple banks in search of a mortgage. I was very frustrated to learn that they all wanted a sales forecast for three years, and a business plan laying out what my plan was to succeed.

“This was when someone told me about Community Futures. I went into the office and sat down with Mr. Peter Maguire. He was extremely helpful. He knew the business from a personal level. He asked to see the company’s financials and an appraisal of the building I was purchasing. He proceeded to take this info to a panel of others to discuss. In no time he was back to me with an offer, and we agreed to the numbers. I liked the flexibility of the loan. I was very pleased with how the transaction went and recommend Community Futures to anyone looking for another option for borrowing when starting a business. They even found me a government rebate that I was able to apply for and ended up receiving a rebate for our purchase!”

Community Futures Funding Partner:

Rural businesses, organizations, and communities are the cornerstone of Canada’s economy. To ensure rural Canadians are positioned for success, the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), has partnered with the Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) across southern Ontario to provide access to the tools and support these businesses within their communities need to succeed.

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