CAMEO Congratulates California CDFI Awardees That Fund Small Business

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CAMEO congratulates the nine California organizations who received funding from the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund to support small business. California received $5.8 million to provide business technical assistance and loans to start-up businesses and those that want to grow.

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The big banks are making very few loans under $250,000. The CDFI’s that lend to small business are filling the demand for small loans that banks don’t want to touch.

CAMEO congratulates the nine California organizations who received funding from the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund to support small business.

Accion San Diego -$600,000; California FarmLink - $92,700; Opening Doors - $100,000; Opportunity Fund - $1,450,000; Pacific Community Ventures - $953,800; TELACU - $953,800; Working Solutions - $600,000; Valley Economic Development Corporation - $953,800; Women’s Economic Ventures - $100,000.

The 2012 awardees are more than double those in 2010, when only four organizations received CDFI funds. The total of $5.8 million will provide loan capital and business technical assistance to start-up businesses and those that want to grow. Seven of the nine organizations are CAMEO members who have benefited from CAMEO’s capacity building efforts.

“These organizations lend to small business when traditional banks won’t,” said Claudia Viek, C.E.O. of CAMEO. “The big banks are making very few loans under $250,000. The CDFI’s that lend to small business are filling the demand for small loans that banks don’t want to touch.”

Also, the $300,000 in technical assistance grants will help the organizations provide business training such as writing business plans, developing financials, and marketing. According to a survey of CAMEO members, when businesses receive this type of training, 80 percent succeed. When they don’t receive training the small business failure rate is between 50-80 percent. Thus, business training, ensures a pipeline of loan-ready businesses.

Additionally, eight organizations received $13 million to invest in low-income housing. The combined awards to California of $18.8 million equals 12.4 percent of the total $152 million awarded. The total award to California is proportional to our population, but the percentage going to small business is only 3.8 percent. In a business climate in which CDFIs have become the lenders of choice for small business, the investment in small business should be greater.

“California has 4.2 million very small businesses, said Claudia Viek. “If we are to grow the number of businesses and grow the existing businesses, then more resources need to be available for small businesses in California.”

According to CDFI, Financial Assistance awards go “to CDFIs that demonstrate the financial and managerial capacity to provide affordable financial products and services to low-income communities” and Technical Assistance (TA) awards are grants that go “to emerging as well as established CDFIs to help them increase their capacity to serve their target markets.”

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CAMEO's mission is to grow a healthy, vibrant, thriving environment for all entrepreneurs and start-up businesses by advancing the work of our statewide member network - the over 160 organizations, agencies and individuals dedicated to furthering the fortunes of micro-businesses in California. Our vision is to create economic opportunity for all entrepreneurs, to build wealth and strong California communities.

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Heidi Pickman
CAMEO
415.992.4484
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