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How BDC is helping YSB Carpentry become a local construction powerhouse

The Business Development Bank of Canada offers financing with a side of sound advice

Photo of an external elevator used to construct a high rise building.

Since its founding more than 75 years ago, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has remained a trusted advisor for Canadian businesses – especially when they need it the most. 

That’s why BDC kept doing what it does best throughout the pandemic: lending funds to growing businesses, giving them a sound strategy for structured growth, and helping them implement that plan.

For YSB Carpentry and YSB Hoist, two family-owned businesses founded by brothers Yvan & Stephane Bourdeau in nearby Navan, Ontario, their expertise couldn’t have come at a better time.

YSB’s general manager Brigitte Benoit — who has performed “every single role you can imagine” at the company — came to rely on BDC to fulfill her current role: business development.

When opportunity knocks, BDC can help businesses answer

YSB was approached about acquiring the equipment from a Toronto-based hoist business that was shutting its doors — by hoists we mean the external elevators used to construct high rise buildings. They checked it out and recognized a great business opportunity. 

To purchase the hoists, they started working with BDC. With their business mentor from BDC Advisory Services, YSB was now equipped to go through its business structure and determine the best way to support the growth, which included bringing on key people.

“Because it was a new division, we needed the help from BDC to support the upswing in business,” said Benoit. “We’ve stuck with them because the sessions we have with our business mentor, like mapping out a strategic plan for structured, sustainable growth and then implementing the plan, were so invaluable.”  

Together, YSB and BDC took a hard look at what was working within the company – but also what wasn’t working. It quickly became clear that to sustain YSB’s expansion, they would need more space. 

BDC is now helping finance a new 14,000 square foot building to house YSB’s entire outfit, which will break ground this fall in Russell, Ont. 

YSB owned green construction machinery

Providing guidance for structured growth

“BDC’s mandate is to help as many businesses as possible,” said Hugues Boulerice, Senior Account Manager at BDC. “At the end of the day, we’re here to support entrepreneurs’ growth, that’s our main goal.”

In addition to their entrepreneur-centric approach, BDC also offers a range of flexible solutions to help them through the ups and downs of the business cycle. “If we’re lending money, it’s for growth and it needs to happen,” said Boulerice. 

BDC works shoulder to shoulder with the businesses they support. Unlike firms who would charge businesses $25,000 to give them a strategy with an encouraging pat on the back, BDC sticks around during the implementation phase. They help businesses work smarter and avoid the pitfalls of growing too fast. 

“YSB is a perfect example of a fast-growing company with a ton of potential and they’re good at what they do,” said Boulerice. “They just needed a little bit of help.”

Many family-owned businesses benefit from taking a more proactive approach to accounting so they can get a real-time snapshot of how their business is performing during the growth stage. “It’s hard to be proactive when your accounting reporting is three months behind,” said Boulerice. 

Benoit says other businesses could also benefit from the type of support she’s received at YSB. “I’ve dealt with so many different banks and I’ve never encountered this type of support. You feel like you have a partnership with a mutual goal,” she said. 

“I’ll put it this way. I don’t always need to go to BDC, but because of the relationship, I choose to.”