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Written by Frank Lopez
Valley Community Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will host a webinar panel presentation featuring local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) on Feb. 23.
CDFIs, lenders who focus on providing loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a business, will give an overview of their programs and answer questions from participants.
CDFIs also focus on serving distressed communities and making sure money goes towards underserved businesses.
The panelists that will be featured include: Access Plus Capital, CDC Small Business Finance, Feed The Hunger Foundation, Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation, Opportunity Fund and Valley Small Business Development Corporation.
Rich Mostert, director at the Valley Community SBDC, said that the workshop was developed to help businesses and entrepreneurs that haven’t been as dramatically affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The purpose of the workshop is to present CDFIs to explain their different programs that could accommodate both startups and expanding small businesses,” Mostert said.
Each of the CDFIs have their own niche, Mostert said, which gives the local business community more options to who can help them best with loans.
CDFIs were among the first lenders allowed to submit applications for the latest round of the Paycheck Protection Program last month.
The Covid-19 pandemic did spur more businesses to seek services from Valley Community SBDC. Normally, around 600 businesses will seek services from the SBDC. In 2020, the number jumped to 1,000.
Mostert said that the SBDC’s capital infusion goal for last year was $14 million. In 2020, the SBDC helped small business clients acquire more than $30 million in funding.
Mostert said the team is now working to process new stimulus money from programs such as the California Covid Relief grant and others.
“The most important thing about being a small business owner is reaching out and finding what’s available to you. So many people start a business because they are passionate, but they don’t look outside of their bubbles. Knowledge is power, and the more you know about these programs, the better,” Mostert said.
The webinar will run from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
To register for the Valley Community SBDC “Meet the CDFI’s” webinar, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SNiP2Yb9QWWGmlFdecWzjg