Check out this insightful open discussion dedicated to strategies communities can take to help families navigate the diverse educational landscape. This session, centered on families and students, was led by Scott Evans, Director of Family and School Engagement
Two years after launching an innovative loan fund in collaboration with leaders of color in the Tucson business community, Community Investment Corporation (CIC) and the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Community Managed Loan Fund are celebrating their 50th no-interest loan. The fund, which focuses on improving capital access to entrepreneurs of color, has made over $400,000 in loans to date across Southern Arizona.
The celebration also marks an expansion of two key partnerships with local nonprofit organizations, Growth Partners Arizona and Startup Tucson. For its part, Startup Tucson is creating the first paid position for what has, to date, been an all-volunteer management committee, while Growth Partners Arizona will be expanding the fund’s lending footprint in 2024 to central and northern Arizona through a $250,000 grant from Wells Fargo. The expansion will include targeted outreach to rural BIPOC entrepreneurs.
Growth Partners Arizona, a certified Community Development Financial Institution, recently invested $100,000 in the BIPOC Loan Fund to serve southern Arizona and have now committed another $250,000 to expand the fund’s lending footprint to the entire state. The $250,000 comes from a grant from Wells Fargo and supports the bank’s work to accelerate the growth of underserved small businesses across the country through investments that increase access to capital, expand entrepreneurial networks, and provide access to knowledge through technical assistance and capacity building resources.
This investment is a part of our larger focus to expand innovative lending programs throughout the state of Arizona. Thanks to the funding from our partners at Wells Fargo we will be able to start the new year off making a significant investment within our rural communities. As we look ahead to the future we are excited to continue to build towards a more inclusive economy.
Startup Tucson, a Tucson-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to revolutionize the Southern Arizona region’s economy through entrepreneurship and innovation, is committing part of the time of their Director of Entrepreneur Success and Access to Capital, Keneshia Raymond, to helping expand the fund’s impact. Raymond is a founding committee member of the BIPOC Community Managed Loan Fund and will become the BIPOC Loan Fund’s first funded staff person.
Raymond will play a pivotal role in spearheading this initiative and expanding its reach, resources, and impact. Raymond will collaborate closely with CIC to develop comprehensive strategies, promote awareness, secure funding, and provide strong leadership to ensure the BIPOC Loan Fund’s continued growth and sustainability.
Startup Tucson recognizes the pressing need within the community for equitable and accessible access to capital for BIPOC business owners. “At Startup Tucson we champion the BIPOC Loan Fund and wholeheartedly support its mission to empower underrepresented entrepreneurs and foster a more inclusive and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.” said Raymond. Raymond background includes 14 years as an entrepreneur and business coach who, in addition to her duties at Startup Tucson, runs her own online company, has raised over $8 million of investment for small businesses, and successfully exited a previous business.
“Keneshia’s experience as an entrepreneur and her leadership within the BIPOC Community Managed Loan Fund has been truly exceptional,” said CIC’s Executive Director, Danny Knee. “She is forward-thinking with a vision to activate the sidelined economic power of underrepresented entrepreneurs within our community whose businesses have suffered from underinvestment.”
The BIPOC Community Managed Loan Fund is an example of character-based lending, an underwriting approach through which a borrower’s personal qualities, community reputation, and other factors beyond credit scores and collateral are given greater emphasis. Its volunteer committee of BIPOC community leaders has complete authority over the loan fund including defining the application process and underwriting criteria to assess loan viability. In the loan product design phase, the committee identified specific obstacles to capital access for BIPOC communities which included distrust of the traditional financial institutions, overly complicated application processes, and banking’s over-reliance on collateral and credit scores to make loan approval determinations. A low-barrier application allows business owners to apply via video or audio as well as in writing.
“One of the largest challenges for entrepreneurs, especially BIPOC entrepreneurs, in our region is access to capital,” said said Liz Pocock, CEO, Startup Tucson. “The trailblazing work of CIC and the BIPOC Loan Fund strengthens our economy, and we couldn’t be prouder to call them a partner and support the future longevity of the Fund and its mission.”
As the BIPOC Community Managed Loan Fund continues to pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable business landscape, this partnership with Startup Tucson reinforces the collective commitment to driving positive change and advancing economic empowerment in Southern Arizona. On Friday, September 15th, CIC and Startup Tucson will be hosting a 2 year Celebration of the BIPOC Loan Fund Celebration at Hotel McCoy from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Festivities will include acknowledging the programs’ milestones and partnerships, amplifying the talent and hard work of program participants, and connecting within our community.
For more information about the BIPOC Community Managed Loan Fund and its partnership with Startup Tucson and Growth Partners Arizona, please visit the program website, here.
About CIC: Community Investment Corporation (CIC) is a financial empowerment nonprofit. We give the members of our community, who are shut out of and left behind in our economy, access to the knowledge and financing they need to pursue new opportunities. CIC unlocks the door to prosperity for all members of our community to meaningfully participate in our powerful but imperfect capitalist economic system and reclaim the American Dream. At CIC, WE KNOW YOUR WORTH. The system may not recognize your value, but we do. Learn more about our loan, homeownership, and school bond compliance programs at CICTucson.org.
About Startup Tucson: Startup Tucson is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to transform our region’s economy through entrepreneurship and innovation. Startup Tucson executes this mission by providing education and culture-building programs and events to grow a high-impact entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem. You can find information about the organization and upcoming opportunities to engage at startuptucson.com.
About Growth Partners Arizona: About Growth Partners Arizona Growth Partners Arizona is the largest Black-led Arizona-based CDFI that provides affordable, responsible financial products to local underserved communities. As a trusted intermediary between the public and private sectors, Growth Partner Arizona aims to achieve economic justice through forward thinking, collaborative, and inclusive approaches to capital access in Arizona. We are committed to building a more inclusive economy that works for everyone. For more information visit: growthpartnersaz.org.
A $100,000 investment has been made to support at least 10 Southern Arizona small business entrepreneurs who are Black, Indigenous or people of color.
The no-interest microloans of up to $10,000 are awarded under a character-based lending model, in which a borrower’s personal qualities, community reputation and other factors that go beyond credit scores and collateral are given greater emphasis, a news release said.
The loan fund is two years old, and its volunteer committee of community leaders has the decision-making authority for the loan funding, defining the application process and the criteria used.
Obstacles to capital access for communities of color include distrust of traditional financial institutions, overly complicated application processes, and banking’s over-reliance on collateral and credit scores to make loan approval determinations, the committee found.
Instead, a low-barrier application allows business owners to apply via video, audio or in writing. Only after being approved for a loan are entrepreneurs required to provide financial and business documentation, the news release said.
Over the past two years, the committee has approved more than 50 no-interest microloans in Southern Arizona, totaling nearly $400,000 in funding.
“I think some traditional lenders might be skeptical of our underwriting process,” said CIC Executive Director Danny Knee, “but the performance of our loan portfolio shows that we are on to something with our trust-based approach.”
Growth Partners Arizona, a Community Development Financial Institution, is planning to expand the fund’s community-managed approach statewide, the news release said.
“Investing in the fund is not only important to the community but resonates with me personally,” said Growth Partners Arizona CEO Andre Whittington. “I have witnessed family members and friends lose their businesses due to limited or nonexistent funding opportunities. Through this partnership we are providing real solutions and establishing inclusive financial pathways for BIPOC business owners to secure the capital needed to scale their businesses.”
For more information about the BIPOC Community Managed Loan Fund, visit tucne.ws/1kzm.
Read the original article on Tucson.com.
by Kimber Lanning, Andre Whittington, and Danny Knee
As our country prepares to spend billions of dollars in new funding on environmental efforts, America is sitting on a gold mine in the fight against climate change, and we need to do something about it.
The opportunity lies with small businesses.
Many small-business owners want to be more environmentally friendly — and all are interested in saving money. Implementing simple changes like LED lights to large projects like installing solar panels can make a big difference to both our planet and businesses’ bottom lines.
The size of the opportunity is huge.
Barriers to Small Businesses Going ‘Green’
But small-business owners are stretched thin.
They often juggle everything from marketing to purchasing to accounting, duties that corporations have whole teams to handle. Adding “Chief Sustainability Officer” to a small-business owner’s “to-do” list can seem daunting.
Another challenge is the capital to carry out “green” projects.
Rarely do small businesses have a few hundred or thousand dollars to spare for sustainability upgrades, even when the investment will save them as much or more money in the long run.
The new environmental tax incentives offered by the Inflation Reduction Act alone may recover the cost of some projects.
And yet, big banks will laugh a small business out the door for seeking a modest loan “just” to conserve water and energy or require burdensome hoops for the business to jump through.
Boot Camp Helps Businesses Create Plan to Save
Thankfully, there is a solution.
Local First Arizona’s Green Business Boot Camp has helped hundreds of local business owners cut their water, energy, waste and transportation usage by 20% or more with simple adjustments, often leading to thousands of dollars in savings.
For example, Green Business Boot Camp graduate Pines Inn & Suites in Cottonwood is installing motion-sensor thermostats to keep air-conditioning costs down when rooms are vacant.
Phoenix restaurant Duck & Decanter is conserving major amounts of water by putting in low-flow toilets and upgraded kitchen equipment.
And Tucson dessert shop Frozen Delight has turned to recyclable packaging.
Affordable Loans to Finance the ‘Green’ Transition
In addition to education and support from the boot camp, our Green Business Micro-Loans provide the financial runway for small businesses to afford these changes.
With these loans, boot camp graduates in six Arizona counties can get help paying for sustainability improvements at low-interest rates through a short application process.
In Maricopa and Yavapai counties, the newly launched Green Loan Fund, made possible by Growth Partners Arizona and Vitalyst Health Foundation, provides loans to eligible local businesses up to $10,000 at 3% interest, which businesses pay back entirely with savings generated by their sustainability projects, so their cash flow is uninterrupted.
In Pima County, the Green Community Fund, created in partnership with Community Investment Corporation, provides up to $15,000 at 0–5% interest.
And in Graham, Greenlee and Cochise counties, small businesses can receive loans up to $25,000 at 7% interest through Community Investment Corporation for “green” as well as other projects.
More Funding Needed for Small Businesses to Meet Climate Goals
One of the best things about these micro-loans is how easy they are to obtain.
Whereas traditional banks may require years of financial statements, credit scores and collateral to extend credit, these funds rely on “character-based” lending.
A free energy and water audit conducted by Local First plus an explanation of how the money will be used, the anticipated savings and the local business’ support in the community is all that is asked.
Kevin Ticer, owner of Custom Upholstery Services in Safford, said applying was a snap. “It was easy to go through the micro-loan process,” he said. “After a couple of meetings with the loan committee, I was approved and able to invest in the equipment and remodeling that I needed.”
But loan programs like these need more funding to fully power the shifts small businesses must make in the coming years.
If we don’t invest to help local entrepreneurs become more sustainable, it will cost us all eventually.
Recognizing the motherlode that small businesses hold to achieve progress toward climate goals is the first step for our society. Obtaining more funding — whether from government, private foundations or donors — is our next responsibility.
Delicious frozen yogurt, ice cream, and boba may draw you to Frozen Delight, but the friendly relationships that staff have formed with the community will make you want to stay! Frozen Delight prides itself on serving customers for over 25 years and being one of the first frozen yogurt shops in Tucson. In addition to fostering community connections, Frozen Delight consistently explores how to minimize its environmental impacts and recently became the latest business in Tucson to become Green Business Certified!
Owners Cleo and Jose Terrazas grew up in Mexico City, where conserving water was a part of everyday life in their community. Upon moving to Arizona, they were surprised by the amount of water being used in the day-to-day operations of their business, such as in the cooling systems for their frozen yogurt.
Soon, Frozen Delight made the switch to air-cooled frozen yogurt machines and was inspired to continue this trend forward in other areas of their business. Jose installed LED lighting throughout the building, Cleo attended sustainability events, and both owners worked with staff to gather new ideas for the way they can run their business more sustainably.
Frozen Delight now uses recyclable packaging, repurposes old furniture and décor to prevent items from going to the landfill, and created an environmental policy guiding future energy and water initiatives.
Learn more about Frozen Delight at their website: www.frozendelight520.com
Get recognition for being a sustainability leader in Arizona by becoming a Certified Green Business!
Reach out to the Sustainability team using the Arizona Green Business Certification Interest Form or contact Nick Shivka, Senior Manager of Sustainability Initiatives – firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the original article on Local First Arizona.
When John Benedict drove from Philadelphia to rural southern Arizona five years ago in a van he bought for $1,000 with money saved from eBay sales, he had no intention of becoming a farmer.
He just knew he wanted to leave city life, and an unfulfilling career in finance, behind.
“I just knew I wanted freedom,” Benedict, 33, said. “I just wanted land and space.”
With the help of the thriving, local agricultural community in Cochise County, Benedict has become the farmer he never thought he’d be, cultivating organic beets, carrots, strawberries, onions, broccoli, cabbage, salad greens, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and more.
Community Investment Corporation, a non-profit financial-empowerment organization, is part of Local First Arizona’s AZNavigator, a statewide small-business and entrepreneurship-assistance center. The 10 organizations that comprise AZNavigator provide no-cost assistance to startups and local business owners in Arizona.
“When I moved out here, I was living in a van. It was cold and miserable,” Benedict said, noting he is now organizing a co-op of other small-scale growers. “Without Community Investment Corporation’s funding, this would not even have been remotely possible.”
Simple Conversations Lead To Life-Changing Results
The farming and the funding came together in the most happenstance of ways, beginning with simple conversations.
On a visit to a local food bank, a local farmer invited Benedict to earn money by helping seed his land. Benedict accepted, and it changed the trajectory of his life.
“I never stopped farming, from that moment on,” he said. “It felt like this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.”
With that anchor in place, Benedict learned while working, made the most of whatever funds came his way — investing in solar panels, water tanks and pumps — and continued creating connections within his rural community.
‘The World Should Be More Economically Available To Everybody’
Another of Benedict’s connections at the food bank quite literally paid off.
A woman there directed him to Community Investment Corporation, where he learned about a loan fund for entrepreneurs of color that could help him expand his farm.
As a Black farmer with no capital to use as collateral, Benedict embodied the reason the loan fund was created.
Brandi Szymanski, the corporations’s rural lending manager, said the fund was created in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement to provide financial opportunities to all kinds of entrepreneurs from underserved communities.
“The world should be more economically available to everybody,” Szymaski said.
Creative Approaches To Community Funding
To receive a zero-interest loan up to $10,000 from Community Investment Corporation, applicants are asked to shoot a video of the work they’re doing and what they hope to accomplish with financial support.
Benedict appreciated the creative approach to the funding application because it meant he wouldn’t be dismissed for not coming to the table with years of financial records.
“I did my application in my field,” he said. “I literally showed them my field of garlic and onions. It felt amazing showing them that I already had the seeds going.”
Paying it forward to the next small business
With the funding in place, Benedict has started a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiative to serve a local rehab facility, plans to open a retail space and is partnering with local schools. All of the work is allowing him to realize his goal of providing healthy foods to people who need it most.
Plus Benedict gets to literally pay his loan forward.
“I love knowing that every month when I make my payment that money is going from me to the next farmer and small business owner,” Benedict said. “And if we really talk about equality, there are different ways to level the playing field. One of them is childhood and prenatal nutrition. So, if we can get healthy and organic food to people who can’t afford it, that’s the mission.”
Szymaski, who recently visited Benedict’s farm, said she was impressed with the progress he has made. His success, she said, is exactly why she loves doing the work she does.
“He’s thriving,” she said, recalling her visit to Benedict’s farm. “This is really social work. It’s lending, but we’re not a bank.”
Buy produce from Desert Sky Organic’s new co-op at 9110 N. Highway 191, McNeal, AZ, call (520) 200-0549 or visit www.thelocalcoopaz.com.
Learn more about Community Investment Corporation’s low-interest lending for rural and underserved communities here.
Learn more about AZNavigator’s free assistance for Arizona small businesses here.
Read the original article on Local First Arizona.
After 15 wonderful years, Yolie is ready for a new adventure!
Community Investment Corporation (CIC) is emotionally conflicted to announce that Yolanda McCarty will be retiring this year. Yolie has become a cornerstone of CIC with her infectious positivity and people-first approach.
We are so excited for Yolie to take on this is and exciting chapter of her life but sad she won’t light up our work days anymore. Below are a few fond memories from our staff who’ve worked with Yolie through the years.
Carla Wallace | Director of Bond Compliance
It has been an honor to work alongside Yolie at CIC and for many years prior when I was a Trustee.
Yolie embodies CIC’s mission and values. Bond Compliance was Yolie’s second career. She came to CIC having already spent a career making a difference in the community and undoubtedly leaving a lasting impression on customers and co-workers alike. While leading Bond Compliance Yolie’s ability to meet people where they are was on full display. She patiently provided education, clarification, and gentle guidance to our clients.
Of course, occasionally reminders would have to become a bit more forceful, and she was affectionately nicknamed ‘The Hispanic Hammer.’ Our clients knew they’d better get the docs in asap! She is a master collaborator, always goes the extra mile, and knows the ins and outs of every single compliance requirement.
But Yolie’s best qualities are her personality and the passion she has for the work we do and the clients we assist. The relationships she has formed, her delight when touring schools and meeting students, and her commitment to making compliance seamless and as easy as possible have not gone unnoticed and will be missed.
My favorite story about Yolie happened when I was a Trustee. A mutual Charter School client had experienced some major changes and was facing some financial challenges. A new Principal had been hired and he was inheriting a mess. When he accepted the meeting with two CIC folks and two Trustee folks he was terrified. We all showed up and explained that we were all on his team, wanted nothing more than for the school to succeed, answered all his questions, educated him on the compliance obligations and process, and most importantly treated him to lunch. He left that meeting feeling hopeful, supported, and reassured. We are all friends to this day and yes, he turned that school into an incredible success.
I have treasured my time working with Yolie and wish her happiness and success in all her new endeavors.
Heather Moreno | Program Support Associate
The first time I met Yolie, it was at a CIC Happy Hour where we had only infrequent interactions remotely due to the pandemic. She walked up, introduced herself and gave me a biggest, warmest hug. If there were any awkwardness due to only working alongside one another virtually, she did away with it immediately with a comfortability that radiates from her.
From the stories I’ve heard from before my time with CIC, she has always been this way. Good-natured, bright, witty, and always remembers to take a photo for posterity – and those are the thoughts that just come to mind when she blesses you with a conversation. In getting to know her, I’ve tried to be funnier, because she’s sharp as a whip and it’s hard to keep up. On our last school visit, she got me to laugh so hard, I snorted in the car.
She has gotten me to mellow out and enjoy life more, since she knows how to relax and take things in stride. While I would be pulling out my hair, she easily conquers what’s in front of her and with her hair looking immaculate. Genuinely, she’s given me a whole new perspective on my own way of treating others, as there is a unique kindness that emanates when you’re in her presence. You can’t help but smile, laugh, and feel joyful. Why be somber when you can be a Yolie, you know?
I’ve always said that it’s Yolie’s world, and we’re just living in it. It’s less of a joke and more of a reality because the fact is there is truly only one Yolanda McCarty. The whole world is privileged to have her, and fortunately will get even more time as she’s off on her newest adventure, enriching the lives of everyone lucky enough to be welcomed into her orbit. I just hope she remembers to take enough photos to share.
Danny Knee | Executive Director
Yolie is the inspiration for why CIC operates the way it does. Her commitment to both our work and to her family are the foundation for the values we hold.
CIC would not be the place of kindness and compassion and elite performance without the example she set in my early days as Director. We all owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude, and I hope all of our blossoming young leaders will remember years from now when they are running the world that her shoulders are among the ones on which they will be standing.
Malisa Evans | Program Manager
Yoli is the coolest person that I have ever met! She approaches her work and life with such a positive attitude that it is contagious to all those around her. She is not afraid to be herself and say what she is thinking. She makes everyone feel special with a simple hello, birthday lunch or asking to take a selfie with her. I love all of this about her! I will treasure the time we have had working together and look forward to bumping into her at the next horse race, happy hour, or Tucson event. Thank you Yoli for all that you have done for CIC, our community and me!
Thank you for all of the fabulous years, Yolie! We will miss you!
Regal Fierce Media Wins Spark Award from the Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Arizona
Community Investment Corporation (CIC) is thrilled to announce and celebrate the extraordinary success of Regal Fierce Media as the recipient of the Spark Award from the Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Arizona! The Spark Award recognizes businesses who embody Character, Culture, and Community in their work. Earning this achievement serves as a testament to Regal Fierce Media’s unwavering commitment to providing excellent service to Tucson businesses.
“Being the 2023 Winners of the Spark Award makes us feel empowered! For us to be recognized as millennial entrepreneurs for our dedication, passion, and creativity to our clients fuels our souls,” said CEO of Regal Fierce Media, Katrina Calderon.
Regal Fierce Media is a Tucson-based media company and advertising agency that Calderon founded in 2019. CIC was able to support Regal Fierce Media through the BIPOC Community Managed Loan Fund.
“CIC’s BIPOC loan played a huge part in our growth,” said Calderon. “They [CIC] helped us with funding when no other bank would. Not only did they look at our financials, but they let us tell our story. We are here today because CIC believed in our vision. With their loan, we upgraded our equipment and reached higher-level clients, leading to our business’s continued growth.”
Calderon’s commitment to giving back to the Tucson community began in her youth. While working at Youth On Their Own (YOTO), Calderon learned how the nonprofit worked to provide dignity and resources to Tucson’s underserved adolescent population. It was this experience that inspired Calderon to use her skills to give back to the community.
It’s no surprise Regal Fierce Media is being recognized for their character. “They are talented and driven, but as importantly, they work with incredible integrity and kindness – qualities too often undervalued in the competitive landscape of business,” said CIC Executive Director Danny Knee.
Receiving the 2023 Spark Award is a full circle moment for Regal Fierce Media. “Last year, when we were event photographers for the BBB Torch Awards, we told ourselves that we would be up there accepting an award one day,” said Calderon. “And here we are, walking the stage as the 2023 Spark Award winners.”
National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies honors Essential Workers Housing Fund with Presitigous Award of Single-Family Excellence
Community Investment Corporation (CIC) is thrilled that the Essential Workers Housing Fund, in collaboration with the Tucson Industrial Development Authority, has been honored with the prestigious Award of Single-Family Excellence by the National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (NALHFA).
This recognition not only celebrates the remarkable impact the EWHF has had in providing affordable housing solutions for essential workers but also acknowledges the vital partnership with the Pima County Industrial Development Authority and Tucson Industrial Development Authority.
The Single-Family Excellence award recognizes innovative and creative achievement in single-family projects and programs, focused on low-income households. The Essential Workers Housing Fund was established with the sole purpose of addressing the critical housing needs of individuals whose work is critical for day-to-day life, but are often undervalued and underpaid. The Essential Workers Housing Fund empowered them with affordable homeownership opportunities, and helping them build a foundation for generational wealth.
Director of Housing Programs, Patty Gonzalez, joined Michael Slania and Dre Thompson in Tampa, Florida in May to accept this award.
This partnership has been instrumental in leveraging resources, expertise, and financing opportunities to make the most impact to our community. Working together, we successfully distributed funds tailored to the needs of essential workers, making the dream of homeownership a reality for our deserving and hard-working neighbors.
Tucson-area small businesses unable to get traditional commercial loans can tap a new source of capital, thanks to two local nonprofit organizations.
The Tucson-based Community Investment Corporation (CIC) and Startup Tucson, have partnered with the national community-based economic development group Common Future to offer a total of $500,000 in alternative loans.
Launched this week, the Success Through Alternative Capital (STAC) program aims to help businesses without adequate collateral or assets to qualify for traditional loans.
Interested businesses should contact Community Investment Corporation online at cictucson.org/stac.
California-based Common Future is investing $250,000 in the pilot program through its in-house investment entity, Community Credit Lab, while the CIC is matching with $250,000 of its own funds. Startup Tucson is providing business and entrepreneurial education to support local business owners who access STAC funding.
The program uses revenue-based financing, allowing small businesses to pledge future revenues for an advance of financial capital, with payments varying depending on how well a business is doing and its gross revenues.
The STAC program is expected to fund 25 local businesses over the next year, the CIC said.
Payments are higher when the businesses are generating more revenues, and lower when they are generating less revenues — an especially helpful arrangement for seasonal businesses, CIC said.
The program will use Ned, an online revenue-based lending platform, to streamline applications, qualification and disbursement activities, and to automate revenue-based repayments, the CIC said.
CIC Executive Director Danny Knee said the economy works well for those who
have assets to pledge as loan collateral.
“But the over-reliance on asset-based lending without complementary alternatives makes it nearly impossible for many small businesses, and especially those run by entrepreneurs of color, to get the financial capital they need to grow and succeed,” Knee said.
Liz Pocock, CEO of Startup Tucson, said the program is an effort to make the local economy more inclusive.
“We believe revenue-based financing is a way to support emerging entrepreneurs, including entrepreneurs of color,” Pocock said in prepared remarks.
This article was originally published on Tucson.com