Community Economic Development Fund Lends Money to Businesses That Can’t Get Conventional Lending

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MERIDEN, Conn., March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Businesses are getting big help in a difficult recession from the non-profit Community Economic Development Fund (CEDF), which is committing $4 million in a loan fund for Southwestern Connecticut small businesses. Commercial enterprises ranging from corner stores to small manufacturing plants are eligible for the loans, aimed at helping small businesses that can’t get conventional bank loans.

If a small business is in need of working capital, the Meriden-based CEDF will lend it up to $250,000. Up to $500,000 will be available for small businesses to obtain 25-year, fixed rate commercial mortgages on mixed-use property, or to rehabilitate existing business property. SW Connecticut business owners who have a low- to moderate-income and are unable to obtain conventional financing are encouraged to apply. Businesses in Stamford, Bridgeport, New Haven, Danbury and many surrounding communities are also eligible for the loan fund.

Funds for the $4 million loan pool comes from the private sector and is matched by the state of Connecticut. “We are grateful to our investor banks and the state which has made it possible for us to lend this money,” said CEDF President and CEO Donna Wertenbach.

Since 1994, CEDF has helped create thousands of jobs by providing money, training and support to small businesses. It has been a leader in lending money to women-owned and minority-owned small businesses. Once a business owner qualifies, CEDF offers training, business counseling and support along with business loans.

Terms of most loans vary, said Wertenbach. “Every business has different needs, and that’s why we lend money on flexible terms,” she said.

CEDF established the Southwestern Connecticut Segmented Loan Fund after the agency established a similar fund in Eastern Connecticut with great success. That fund, launched in 2003, lent nearly $4.7 million to small businesses in Eastern Connecticut and helped create scores of jobs. The SW Connecticut fund aims to achieve the same goals of helping small businesses by creating jobs and improving communities.

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