As many of you are aware, the opening of Compendium has been delayed several times. You’ve probably also been wondering what’s been going on. Well, in the spirit of transparency and general knowledge we’re going to share a point form history of the past 4 years with you.
-We began writing the business plan in November 2010.
-The business plan took two years to complete, which included the initial financial plans.
-Initial financial plans were based on a retail space that was of interest to us.
-The retail space was leased to someone else before we could put in an offer, even though we requested to be informed of such a situation.
-With the way business plans work, we had to more or less start over again.
-We found a new space, and after talking to what seemed like every bank in the city, we found one that said they would finance the project.
-The bank said they could provide us with a loan, but that we needed to lease the space to move forward.
-To avoid the previous situation, and because we had promises from the bank, we leased the space.
-We were to receive several loans from the bank, which included two through government programs.
-As to tap into all resources available, we also applied for as many grants as we could, but most grants only apply to not-for-profit businesses. In any case, we never received any of the grants we applied for.
-After several months, we were finally approved for our loans.
-The bank then made us jump through hoops for the next two years to receive these loans. They told us time and time again that we’d have the funding after we provided them with one more thing.
-Finally, after bringing the delay to the attention of the bank manager, and other higher ups, we received some of the loans. However, we did not receive the full amount that we were promised, which has left us in quite the predicament to say the least.
-Due to the fact that the bank required us to lease a space, and then took two years to provide the loan, we’ve had to cover building expenses for this period of time. This has cost us tens of thousands of dollars that were supposed to cover other expenses. On top of that, we now have to make payments on these loans with no way of opening, being able to create revenue, or being able to pay them.
-Jumping back to the beginning of the business plan process, we had approached an organization that helps young entrepreneurs with financing. They work in conjunction with a bank to provide a substantial amount of financing that we were hoping to receive.
-After working with this organization for a year, and signing the final papers, they told us we didn’t qualify.
-The reason we didn’t qualify was because there was a chance of nudity being in the art we’d show.
-Back to present date, we were talking with the bank that the previously mentioned organization partners with. We mentioned the nudity issue from before, and they told us that it wasn’t an issue.
-They told us to talk with the organization again in hopes of being able to provide us with some funding.
-We contacted the organization again, applied for the funding again, and were approved again.
-A few months later, they once again told us that they wouldn’t be able to provide us with funding, after initially approving us.
-The nudity wasn’t an issue this time around, but instead the complicated loss of funds caused by the bank made the project something that they didn’t want to touch.
-Meanwhile the bank had created another situation for us to deal with.
-The banks policy was to give our contractors the full amount of their invoices upfront before any work was complete. This amount came out of our account from the loans they gave us, and was held by the bank so they had total control of it.
-This has led to complications with one of the contractors, who hasn’t done any work for almost a year now, but has been paid in full.
-It has also put the entire project at a stand still, as nothing else can be started until a portion of their work is finished.
-We’ve met with the bank several times to reconcile these issues, but they won’t take responsibility for anything that has happened.
-We’ve even talked with the bank manager, the business advisor for the prairies, and tried to contact the ombudsman. None of which helped.
-There is currently an investigation being conducted into the issues with the bank, and hopefully for once things work out in our favour. However, this is another timely process.
Hopefully this gives you a better idea as to what we’ve been up against, and why we aren’t open yet. While this quick history points out the main events, there have been many small occurrences that didn’t help things either. Not to mention the fact that living through these events was much worse than our simple explanation of them. Even still, after all these incidents and more, we are trying to move forward. It hasn’t been easy, and we’re deeply sorry for not being open yet. We continue to get requests for events, and are always saddened when we have to turn people away and can’t help them. However, we are hopefully that everything will turn out eventually.
Please continue to support us, as your interest and excitement for Compendium has been a huge factor that has helped us push on. We appreciate your patience, and look forward to throwing you all a huge party once we open.
If anyone has any interest in supporting us financially you can always send us a donation through PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you’d like to donate a substantial amount of money, we’d be more than happy to meet up with you and give you a big hug.
We look forward to serving our community in the future and helping to make Winnipeg a better city.