CEDF is an independent, nonprofit, mission-driven Connecticut small business lender. We provide loans primarily in low-to-moderate income communities and predominantly to low-to-moderate business owners who are not able to obtain traditional bank financing.
We focus on the 53 Targeted Investment Communities (TICs) and Public Investment Communities (PICs) as defined and revised from time-to-time by the CT Office of Policy and Management and CT DECD. In other towns not recognized as a TIC or PIC, we lend to borrowers with household income below $89,701, as defined by HUD.
We lend in a variety of industries. For the fifth year in a row, CEDF is Connecticut’s leading SBA Microlender, offering term loans from a few thousand dollars up to $50,000. Through our other tranches of loan capital, CEDF also provides term loans and lines of credit up to $250,000, and owner-occupied commercial real estate loans up to $500,000.
We understand that the needs of each business are unique and we are highly flexible and creative to meet those needs. Our goal is to help structure the best funding for a small business.
Milford Edwards, owner of I.M.E.L. Productions & Sales, LLC, operator of WNLK, Norwalk and WSTC, Stamford. CEDF provided a line to term facility for working capital.
Paul Gallant and Lynn Felici-Gallant, owners of Paul’s Custom Pet Food in New Milford. CEDF provided a term loan for equipment and working capital.
Lisa Lord, owner of Twist Yarn Shoppe in Niantic, with daughter and manager, Jennifer Aglim. CEDF provided a term loan for equipment and start up expenses.
Business Advisory Services
CEDF Business Advisors serve our borrowers as coaches and relationship managers to help foster business growth and reduce risk of business closure. Regular contact with the business advisor is a condition of all CEDF lending.
Our Business Advisors are seasoned former small business owners who provide guidance on best practices in management, marketing, finance and operations; help investigate, diagnose or research business challenges and opportunities in order to identify paths to improved results; and coach on matters of leadership, accountability, action planning, idea generation, motivation, and management of the emotional components of business ownership.
Purchasing similar business coaching in the marketplace would come at significant cost. Beyond the value delivered to our clients, the business advisory program helps CEDF reduce risk by providing opportunities for early interception of issues that might escape the knowledge of a borrower with less business background.
Andrew Scarpa, Director of Business Advisory Services, and Connie Lorence, owner of Aircraft Welding & Manufacturing Co., LLC, of Hartford review financial statements. CEDF provided the company with three term loans and a working capital line of credit.
The CEDF Business Education Center offers learning in a variety of formats. As our clients have shown a preference for formats that don’t require time away from their businesses, we’ve begun planning for delivery of programming in alternative formats, such as webinar, teleconference and online courses.
Our workshops offer in-depth, hands-on training, primarily in financial-related subjects taught by experts. Focused seminars combine useful content with peer interaction and networking opportunities. Workshops and seminars are offered at the CEDF offices in Meriden and periodically across the state.
In late 2017 we launched our We Teach Success online initiative that partners with Santa Clara University’s My Own Business Institute to provide a free, comprehensive set of courses for Launching Your Business and Growing Your Business.
Our Small Business As Usual podcast series provides a convenient way to stay informed and inspired. It treats issues impacting small business operations usually in the words of CEDF clients. Our website also features replays of seminars and other podcasts in which CEDF clients were participants.
Our Chalkboard instructional email newsletter provides reflections on current issues in management, marketing and finance from the perspective of staff members' own experiences or observations on articles in the business press.
CEDF strongly believes in the concept of community-driven economic development through community-owned projects. We work with low-to-moderate income communities on projects that support business growth and job creation in Connecticut by providing assistance to cities/towns, community residents, merchant groups, and others who have a vision for ways their community may support the economic environment. We offer assistance in project-related expenses because community development grants help the local business environments grow.