”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 TucsonContinue reading
“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.Continue reading
“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 PointsContinue reading
“As I remember beginning this process, I never have imagined the love and support I would get and feel by the end! Thank you all so much, for you lending hands and hearts. I will end up a Kiva Lender for sure. ” Ricky Pintor, Owner Just ChurrosContinue reading
“Being a small nonprofit dedicated to performing arts and arts-integrated education is a risky venture. In four days, Odaiko Sonora lost every gig left this season. The timing couldn’t have been worse. All the programs I applied for were overwhelmed and unresponsive . . . until I found CIC. The care and professionalism, and most importantly the speed with which CIC staff were able to assist has restored my faith that Odiako Sonora will weather this storm.” Karen Falkenstrohm, Director Odaiko Sonoran Rhythm Industry Continue reading
“This is the second time CIC believed in ME enough to come through for me, when things look dire and survival is the name of the game.
Thank you for your borrowed tools.
I will recreate my masterpiece with it . . . Promise!” Chef Cecilia Arosemena, Owner Dish for Dosha
“The moment I knew I was receiving the funding I knew I could weather the storm.” Nick Baca, Owner London Town BarbershopContinue reading
“It was timely, not burdensome – a real quick and easy process. Nick (on the loan team) was amazing to work with.” Ben Korn, Owner Safeguard Tucson about his CIC COVID-19 Emergency Loan Continue reading
“As a small business owner I can say that in my case Community Investment Corporation has truly fulfilled its mission of helping Pima County prosper at a much needed time” Noel Patterson, Owner Dos Manos ApiariesContinue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 16, 2020
Danny Knee, Executive Director
Community Investment Corporation
Tucson Helping Tucson (THT) Movement to benefit Community Investment Corporation (CIC)
Local Movement creating a “Pay it Back to Pay it Forward” Small Business Emergency Fund
[Tucson, Arizona]: A grassroots, local community movement, Tucson Helping Tucson, is teaming up with local nonprofit lender, Community Investment Corporation (CIC), to raise emergency loan and grant funds to support Tucson’s small business and creative communities through the devastating impact of closures related to COVID-19 in Tucson and surrounding areas. THT is a diverse group of local professionals, business owners, musicians, and creatives who immediately saw the financial sacrifices businesses were making in the wake of restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19 and wanted to do something to help.
THT created a fundraiser in the form of a weekly variety show called THT TV that streams live on Facebook every Saturday night from 7-8:30 p.m. Locally inspired, locally driven and locally produced, the show features local musicians, artists, and other creatives as well as local business owners.
The funds raised will go to a revolving loan and grant fund housed at the Community Investment Corporation. CIC is a nonprofit economic development organization dedicated to the prosperity of Pima County and the surrounding area since 1996. Funds raised will provide critical and nimble support to local entities through zero-interest loans and small grants.
“Tucson’s identity and our economic prosperity are tied so closely to our local small businesses,” said Danny Knee, Executive Director of CIC. With published estimates that as many as 50% of all small businesses could close depending on the duration of containment efforts required for public safety, Knee explained that “the goal is to get funds into the hands of businesses as quickly as possible to keep them afloat.”
The idea for THT was originally conceived by Tom Heath of The Heath Team at Nova Home Loans. “Tucson just wouldn’t be Tucson without the local small business and creative communities. They are our local flavor and what makes us special,” Heath said. “Our goal is to provide local creatives paid opportunities to share newly created digital content and to build a significant fund to support small businesses with loans and grants, all while bringing the community together for some homegrown entertainment and connection.”
The loans THT is raising funds for will be zero interest, nonrecourse loans. “They are more pledges, than loans,” remarked Heath. “Our idea is that when businesses are ready and making money again, they would use a small percentage of their revenues to pay our loan back so that we can help another business in need.”
“We call it ‘paying it back to pay it forward,’” said Knee, adding that it is the idea behind many of the community-oriented revolving loan funds his organization manages. All of the funds raised and repaid by businesses will be used to create an ongoing emergency loan fund for future community uses beyond COVID-19.
CIC committed $200,000 of funding for COVID-19 relief loans which THT is now working to match and surpass through its community fundraising efforts.
To date, the partnership has already helped six small businesses including Five Points Market, Dish for Dosha and BK Promotional Solutions, Inc. Two of the loans were completed through what CIC calls a “community backed loan program partnership” with Kiva US and Tucson Kiva Hub, Growth Partners Arizona. These particular loans were funded by individual community members who were able to loan their own money with a minimum investment of just $25 to the COVID-19 affected businesses.
“The community’s generosity is incredible,” said Carie Davis, CIC’s Director of Alternative Business Funding. “We’re hoping this unique approach of allowing people to either donate to our fund or lend directly to the businesses will create a bigger pool of funding to help.”
When safety permits, THT plans to produce a major three-day virtual event for the community to celebrate all that we are and all that we have overcome. THT partners include, Brink Media, Local First Arizona, Tucson Metro Chamber, Hotel Congress, Roux Events, Keri Silvyn, the Comic Bookmobile and many more.
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, homeownership 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! CICTucson.org