State Support for Small Business Bolstered through Partnership with Community Business Lenders
TRENTON, N.J. (May 7, 2015) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today announced recent assistance to community business lenders in Mercer and Camden counties, helping to extend the State’s reach to underserved businesses and communities. Through the Loans to Lenders program, the EDA provides capital to financial intermediary organizations that offer loans and lines of credit to small businesses in local markets that may not qualify for traditional bank financing.
”Small businesses are vital to the State’s economy and community business lenders are able to fill a gap in the market to provide these important job creators with the support they need to thrive,” said EDA CEO Melissa Orsen.
The EDA recently closed on a $500,000 loan to Regional Business Assistance Corporation (RBAC), a Trenton-based community business lender. The EDA also approved a $250,000 loan in April for Cooperative Business Assistance Corporation (CBAC), a community business lender based in Camden.
“The funding provided by the EDA will enable us to help more businesses with loans, allowing these entities to expand, employ more people, and strengthen their local communities,” said William Pazmino, RBAC Executive Director.
Pazmino noted that RBAC has provided $15.7 million in microloans to more than 560 small businesses, with an average loan size of $27,600; 40% of the companies supported are start-ups, 35% are women-owned, and 40% are minority-owned.
Recent examples of RBAC’s support to small businesses include providing a loan from the Community Advantage Loan Fund to Family Supermarket in Trenton, to assist the minority-owned business with renovations, and the purchase of new equipment and inventory. Beautiful Waxing Boutique, which recently moved from Mercerville to Princeton, also received a loan through the Community Advantage Loan Fund to support leasehold improvements.
CBAC provides financial and technical assistance to businesses in New Jersey’s seven southern counties. In the past five years alone, CBAC has made 508 loans totaling over $18 million; During the past year, over 50% of CBAC’s loans have gone to support women-owned and minority-owned businesses, and 33% of CBAC’s loans are for businesses located in Camden. CBAC was recently named “#1 Microlender” in New Jersey for 2014 by the U.S. Small Business Association.
“Small businesses are increasingly turning to community business lenders for financing, and the loan provided by the EDA is helping CBAC to keep pace with demand,” said Harry Stone, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBAC.
CBAC recently assisted Plastics Consulting and Manufacturing (PCM) in Camden by partnering with the business’s bank to provide a loan to help the company rebuild and purchase new equipment and furnishings following a fire in June of 2014. PCM was also approved for Grow NJ tax credits at the EDA’s September 2014 Board meeting.
The EDA is part of the state’s results-driven Partnership for Action. Created by Governor Christie and led by Lt. Governor Guadagno, the Partnership is the hub for all economic development activity in New Jersey and is comprised of four interconnected and highly focused organizational elements: Choose New Jersey, the Business Action Center, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the EDA.
To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at www.NewJerseyBusiness.gov or call the Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789.