Costa Announces $600,000 for Fresno Community Development Financial Institution

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Jim Costa announced that an investment of $600,000 is headed to the Valley to expand business opportunities for low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs.  The grant to Fresno Community Development Financial Institution was awarded through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s CDFI fund for lending and operations.

“Assistance from Fresno CDFI is often the difference between some entrepreneurs seeing their name on the door of their business and never fulfilling their small business dream,” said Costa.  “These funds will help create or retain more than 100 local jobs and leverage an additional $1 million in investments.  This is a smart, fiscally responsible program that expands economic opportunities in our Valley.”

In addition to lending services, Fresno CDFI will use the funds for business development services including technical assistance and training to a total of 130 entrepreneurs. They will also conduct 25 workshops for 250 small business owners.

Edward Escalante, All Season AC & Heating, received a CDFI loan in 2010 when lending from traditional financial institutions was at an all time low. The loan from Fresno CDFI allowed Escalante to survive the worst of the economic recession, and he has since expanded his customer base three-fold.

Escalante said, “We were just a number to the big banks. When I came to Fresno CDFI, I knew at that first meeting that my loan officer was looking beyond the numbers, looking at me as a dedicated business owner wanting to rebuild.”

Since 2008, Fresno CDFI has been providing financing, training, and other assistance for low to moderate income entrepreneurs in the Valley. Their services include micro-finance, credit counseling, business plan development, and beyond.