Small business has been particularly hard hit by this recession. In no place is this more visible than in historically underserved and undercapitalized neighborhoods. Minority and immigrant business owners struggling to keep their businesses and dreams alive can now turn to the TSF/Enterprise Cascadia Small Business Loan Fund, funded in part with an investment by The Seattle Foundation.
Too often, minority and immigrant businesses are under-capitalized, do not qualify for conventional bank financing and are at risk of closure. As a specially chartered community development financial institution, Enterprise Cascadia can look beyond the conventional credit risk criteria used by other lenders and include character, impact and mission in underwriting loans. Further, by focusing its lending in targeted neighborhoods over an extended time, Enterprise Cascadia develops a risk management expertise (with a historic loss ratio of less than 2 percent) that fosters further investment to bring these neighborhoods to life.
In early 2010, The Seattle Foundation made a mission-related investment of $1 million to Enterprise Cascadia’s revolving loan fund pool. This 10-year investment at the rate of 1 percent brought the loan fund to $35 million. Our funds are anticipated to support more than 25 small business loans ranging from $25,000 to $250,000 in King County. The Seattle Foundation is working to raise additional investments from our donors to further support small business stabilization and development efforts. The minimum investment amount is $25,000.