As a certified Community Development Financial Institution, LEDC’s Microloan Program provides loans between $5,000 and $50,000 to start-ups and existing businesses that have difficulty obtaining credit from mainstream financial institutions. Since 1997, LEDC’s Microloan Program has provided more than $4 million dollars in start-up capital to ventures that may not have access to commercial bank loans, venture capitalists, and other sources of formal financing. As the economic slowdown persists and more people turn to self-employment as a primary way to support themselves, LEDC has seen a marked increase in the demand for its small business development and microlending services.“Citi’s generous contribution is the largest single private gift in LEDC’s 20-year history and demonstrates how the private sector and community-based nonprofits can work together to strengthen support for aspiring entrepreneurs,” said LEDC Executive Director Manny Hidalgo. In 2011, LEDC disbursed 81 small business loans that injected nearly $700,000 of capital into the local economy, including 30 loans in the District. With an average loan size of $10,000, Citi’s contribution will enable LEDC to make approximately 40 loans in the District in 2012. LEDC will leverage these funds to seek additional support in pursuing its goal of tripling the amount it will loan to small businesses in the Washington region in five years to approximately $2.16 million, including $650,000 for DC small businesses. “Small businesses provide the greatest opportunity for job creation and they are vitally important to the stability and growth of a community and a local economy,” said Bob Annibale, Citi Global Director of Community Development and Microfinance. “Citi is committed to working with leading community partners, such as LEDC, and local officials to provide the resources to support small businesses, strengthen neighborhoods, and create stable jobs.” Citi’s support for LEDC is the latest and largest in a long record of local investment in the greater Washington, DC area. In 2011 alone, Citi and the Citi Foundation together committed more than $700,000 to support programs and partners involved in neighborhood revitalization, small business development, financial capability-building, and other initiatives.
This latest investment in LEDC will assist small business owners like Erin White and Fredy Robles, owners of Mindy’s Catering, a local family-owned full-service catering business that has operated in the District for over 20 years.“With the financial support of LEDC and Citi, we are going to be able to make renovations to our catering business, improve our marketing, and entrepreneurs like us are going to be able to strengthen their businesses and create jobs in the District,” said Fredy Robles. In addition to making capital available, LEDC works with business owners to improve their consumer credit score, assess the financial health of their businesses, and connect to the financial tools needed to develop their business. About Citi Community Development Citi Community Development (CCD) is leading Citi’s commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities. For more information, please visit www.citicommunitydevelopment.com. About LEDC Working families deserve to live in affordable homes and own successful small businesses – but too many are unable to turn these dreams into a reality. The Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) equips Latinos and other DC-area residents with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities. Participants in our programs learn how to buy and stay in their homes, take control of the decisions affecting their apartments building, and start or expand small businesses. For more information, please visit www.ledcmetro.org. 1 “Small Business Profile: District of Columbia (2011),” Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration, http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/dc11.pdf. 2 “District of Columbia Economy Sheds 400 Private Sector Jobs in December,” District of Columbia Department of Employment Services, http://newsroom.dc.gov/show.aspx/agency/does/section/2/release/22950 Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50175698&lang=en