Fundamentals of Business Finance: Part 2 – The Balance Sheet

Have you ever been asked “How much is your business worth?” and not known what to say? Have you heard of a Balance Sheet but don’t know what it is, what it does, or what it’s “balanced?” 

The course below will cover the basics of one of the three most important financial documents in business, the Balance Sheet. You’ll learn: 

  1. How to read a Balance Sheet, and its three primary components: Assets, Liabilities, and Equity.
  2. What steps to take to prepare a simple Balance Sheet, so you know what your business is worth.
  3. You’ll learn about simple tools (paper, pencil, and calculator) and cloud-based solutions.


This class was developed by CIC staff who combine expertise in finance, banking, and education. In our approach, we strive to make the materials accessible to all audiences. We hope you enjoy it!

The Balance Sheet

Original Air Date: Thursday, May 28, 2020.  

CLICK HERE to view all the resource materials shared in this course. 

A note from Community Investment Corporation’s staff in response to recent events in Minneapolis and nationwide protests.

The events of the last week have shaken our community and our country. It has equally shaken those of us at Community Investment Corporation (CIC). Our nonprofit work focuses on increasing access to economic opportunity for those historically and traditionally underserved by financial institutions, markets, and tools. We believe that if everyone was afforded an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from all that our country and economy has to offer, our community and our society would be better and more prosperous for everyone.  Embedded in this core belief is the right that every person has to equal treatment by, and access to, our system of justice. We did not want a reminder as concrete and devastating as the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis of our failures to ensure these rights.  And we lessen ourselves if we ignore it or the inequities that led us to this moment in history. We need to do more than believe in something to make it true.  

For all the gains that have been made since the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s, the reality is that we are not all equal under the law or in our economy. There are enough studies, reports, statistical analyses, and evidence to fill dozens of libraries, let alone the individual stories we hear every day if we choose to listen, proving these facts. The systemic and institutional barriers that communities of color face – and which are the result of implicit and explicit as well as conscious and unconscious racism, prejudice, and bias – are more than simply daunting or unfair; they are dangerous. 

We stand with Tucson and the greater national community by peacefully demanding and working for equality, liberty, and justice for all. We support the Black community and all communities of color in this fight. We do so to honor the memory of those who have been killed – George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Dion Johnson and tragically so many others (#saytheirnames) – and we do so in the name of all people in our community and country who live in a world that can treat them as if their rights, and they themselves, are less than others. We believe that Black Lives Matter. 

CIC is establishing a zero percent interest revolving microloan loan fund for new entrepreneurs of color who are in their first 5 years of owning a business.  We will also be making $1,500 donations to both Southern Arizona Legal Aid and Step Up to Justice, two local organizations fighting for equal access to justice in our community. We understand that these commitments are small relative to the change that is needed, but they are our attempt to move from passive support to action. 

Racism has no place in our country or in our society. Regardless of how we may see different nuance in a complex social issue, this cannot distract us from what we all know. Racial equality is a moral imperative. We must speak with a single voice against racism in all of its forms. The lives of our brothers and sisters, of our neighbors, and of our countrymen and women depend on it… as does our humanity. 

Fundamentals of Business Finance: The Profit & Loss Statement

Have you ever been asked “How profitable is your business?” and not known what to say?  Have you ever tried seeking funding for your business and come to a dead end when you were asked for your “P&L”? 

The course below covers the basics of one of the three most important financial documents in businessthe Profit & Loss Statement (or “P&L”).  You’ll learn: 

  1. How to read a P&L from top to bottom 
  2. How to organize your information into a P&L   
  3. The role of the P&L in seeking financing (e.g. a loan, investor, etc.) 

This class was developed by CIC staff who combine expertise in finance, banking, and education. In our approach, we strive to make the materials accessible to all audiences. We hope you enjoy it!

The Profit & Loss Statement

Original Air Date: Thursday, May 21, 2020.  

CLICK HERE to view all the resource materials shared in this course. 

Wefunder Tucson Launches Two Women-Led Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns


May 29, 2020

Danny Knee, Executive Director

Community Investment Corporation (CIC)


CIC and Wefunder Launch Two Women-Led Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns

Here at the Community Investment Corporation (CIC), we’re dedicated to expanding economic opportunities for entrepreneurs across Southern Arizona and the broader cross-border region of Sonora. We’re continuing to evolve as we discover new needs in the community and match those to better, more accessible options for funding.

Entrepreneurship, the lifeblood of our economy, is in decline

A study from The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) describes how entrepreneurial activity started slowing down 30 years ago, took a sharp hit during the economic downturn of the 2000’s and has yet to recover. “We’ve seen decent job growth but 0% new business growth” says Zach Yentzer, host of The Tipping Point podcast on KVOI The Voice. (source)

The challenge most heard from entrepreneurs is lack of access to capital. This presents a tremendous opportunity to bring new funding options to Tucson to support entrepreneurs starting and growing businesses in our community. One such option is equity crowdfunding. To raise awareness and uptake of this new-ish funding option, CIC has formed a partnership with Wefunder, an equity crowdfunding platform out of San Francisco.

What is equity crowdfunding?

The recently passed JOBS Act allowed companies to raise funding through non-accredited investors (the 97% of the population who are not high-net-worth individuals), also known as Regulation Crowdfunding. CIC has partnered with Wefunder to promote this option to local business owners and provide resources to help them be successful.

This opens up the door for Community Capital: a movement to democratize financial systems, where empowered citizen investors catalyze the growth of locally-rooted ventures creating economic opportunity for all, especially inclusion of communities and entrepreneurs historically excluded from traditional funding models.

Today we are excited to announce our first two campaigns launching on Wefunder – Fuego Fino and Stackhouse, both women-led companies.

More about Fuego Fino, Inc. and Stackhouse

 Fuego Fino, Inc:

Fuego Fino, Inc is an eco-friendly wine and spirits company headed by local Tucson native Jessica Contreras.

“My goal has always been to give back to the community in which I was born and raised by providing jobs. We are in the process of rolling out the first phase of our expansion, which will include a distribution and marketing hub based in the Tucson area,” says Fuego Fino Founder Jessica Contreras. 

Fuego Fino on WeFunder


Stackhouse is a real estate development company that seeks to make homeownership more accessible and downtown living more affordable regardless of the real estate market.

“After exploring multiple funding options, we chose WeFunder for the opportunity it provided the community to invest, and our platform will benefit Tucson by providing more affordable housing options. I feel like we’re at the forefront of a movement to expand entrepreneurship through innovative funding solutions like WeFunder and we’re excited to be a part of it.” Janelle Briggs, Founder and CEO of Stackhouse.

Stackhouse on WeFunder

“We’re excited to see that our first two Wefunder campaigns are both helmed by women founders, and it speaks to the need for alternative funding platforms to provide capital access to support more businesses owned by women.” Danny Knee, CEO, Community Investment Corporation

“Wefunder is a great platform for founders who might typically find it harder to raise capital from conventional funding sources. Last year, less than 3% of VC capital went to female-led companies. But it’s encouraging that the first two Wefunder campaigns launching in Tucson are led by women. Through our partnership with CIC, we’re hoping to fund more and more female founders, as well as entrepreneurs of color, in the Tucson community, over the coming months and years.” Jonny Price, Wefunder

“Ownership in a spirits business is typically limited to a handful of wealthy families passed  on from generation-to-generation. We are offering the opportunity for Tucsonans to participate as OWNERS while helping to build the community,” says Jessica Contreras, Founder of Fuego Fino, Inc. 

If you’re interested in investing in these businesses, check out their campaigns on Wefunder:


Fuego Fino

About CIC: Community Investment Corporation is a nonprofit economic development organization dedicated to the prosperity of Pima County and the surrounding area since 1996. Committed to expanding economic opportunities, CIC pursues three distinct program areas including support and financing for entrepreneurship/small business, home ownership and education. CIC’s goal is to promote economic inclusion for all members of southern Arizona, regardless of socioeconomic status. Specifically, CIC’s work ensures that more people in the community can get the funding they need to start, sustain, and grow their small businesses, can buy homes, and can access the education they want for their children. We fund YOUR dreams!

COVID-19 Emergency Loan- Eclipse Clinical Research

“We are forever grateful to CIC for helping during these unprecedented times. Thanks to CIC we were able to pay all of our employees while waiting for PPP and EIDL loans to process. I’d like to send a special thank you to Brian from the Loan Team who was wonderful to work with and kept us updated through every step of the process” Felice Anderson, President ​

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COVID-19 Emergency Loan- Kinetic Arts Tucson

​”I’m really grateful for the loan and the part the loan played in helping me survive this pandemic. Not only survive, but thrive! We are not just a dance studio. We work really hard to support artists and marginalized people. Closing was not an option. I fought really hard to get the resources to stay open. We reopen June 1st and thanks to the assistance from CIC, we made it and we will be back….. better than ever!” Breanna Mirae, Owner Kinetic Arts Tucson​

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COVID-19 Emergency Loan- Film Creations

“CIC came through with some funding which gave us some breathing room, and just knowing there were local people who were willing to help me get through this incredibly challenging time was a real validation.” Rick Rose, Founder and CEO, Film Creations, Ltd.​

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COVID-19 Emergency Loan- 5 Points Market

“Emergency funding from CIC gave us a chance to breathe for just a moment and decide which direction we should go with 5 Points at the onset of the pandemic. The emergency loan ensured we could afford payroll and keep our staff insured while we formulated a plan to navigate this crisis and keep our community safe and healthy.” Brian Haskins, Owner 5 Points

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