Fiscal year 2022-2023 was a transformative one when it came to CCEDC’s enormous progress in expanding microlending and inclusive entrepreneurship across southeastern and central Pennsylvania. We continued to fuel SBA 504 loan volume despite increasing interest rates, and celebrated as the U.S. Small Business Administration recognized one of our SBA 504 borrowers as 2023 Business Person of the Year.
Small Business Person of the Year
CCEDC lending affiliate, Seedcopa, certainly had even more reason to celebrate its 40th Anniversary. One of the organization’s SBA 504 loan borrowers was named the Eastern Pennsylvania Small Business Person of the Year 2023 by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Jimmy Olang is the owner of The Brothers That Just Do Gutters-Lehigh Valley in Allentown. Born in a remote village in Kenya, Jimmy always said that if he made it to the U.S., he would work hard to achieve his dreams. His franchise grew from a single employee and truck to a staff of 24, a fleet of eight trucks and over $3.9 million in annual revenue in just seven years.
PA Catalyst Loan Fund
Since being awarded management of the $20 million PA Catalyst Loan Fund by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania last fall, CCEDC has launched the program in 8 counties across southeastern and central Pennsylvania. Now we’re providing access to credit to more than two dozen businesses and counting, building the program from the ground up and providing low-interest loans to business owners who didn’t qualify for conventional bank debt. More than 70% of the borrowers are small businesses with fewer than 10 employees and 100% of our Catalyst Loans have been to socially and economically disadvantaged borrowers. Many are participants in CCEDC’s New Business Champions program, which just completed its second round of free professional services and technical advice for qualified businesses.
“Previously, we didn’t have the capital to support the lending needs of our most underserved business owners or the support staff to help them qualify,” said Mike Grigalonis, CCEDC President & COO. “Now we can deliver even further on our commitment to expand inclusive entrepreneurship across Pennsylvania.”