First in a Series of Events to Celebrate Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region's 30th Anniversary Year
BALLSTON SPA – The Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region (CLFCR) hosted a “Spring Mini-Tour” on Thursday, May 7 at Good Morning Café 2100 Doubleday Avenue, Ballston Spa, NY to spotlight three of its community development projects and to show potential stakeholders the benefits of CLFCR’s impact in local communities such as Ballston Spa. Local elected officials, bank staff, other business owners and community members attended the event.
Linda MacFarlane, Executive Director of the Community Loan Fund, highlighted the importance of nontraditional funding opportunities as an important part of local economic engines. “There are so many necessary projects or great ideas that can’t get off the ground because they fall outside the traditional lines of financially acceptable new enterprises,” said MacFarlane. “Unlike traditional lending institutions, Community Loan Fund is flexible enough to dig beneath the surface, crunch all the numbers, and even provide training to make sure our borrowers succeed.”
Often, the thorough research and additional support of a CLFCR loan gives traditional lenders a lower-risk opportunity to provide additional funds for CLFCR borrowers.
“For almost a quarter of a century, Ballston Spa National Bank and the Community Loan Fund have partnered to support community-based economic development for the benefit of underserved peoples and communities in the Capital Region,” said Laura Siracuse, VP/Commercial Relationship Manager, Ballston Spa National Bank. “We look forward to continuing to bring the benefits of our partnership to the Ballston Spa Community.”
At the breakfast, area stakeholders heard three success stories from Ballston Spa small businesses that obtained their start through a loan with the Community Loan Fund. All three are women-owned businesses representing retail, service, and food and beverage industries.
“CLFCR is friendly to women-owned businesses and supports entrepreneurship in a responsible and respectful way,” said Nancy Holzman, Owner, Good Morning Café, Ballston Spa. “I started Good Morning Café because I wanted people to have good, healthy, non-processed food that was not prohibitively expensive. This was a niche that was going to be filled anyway. If I didn't do it, someone else would. CLFCR could see that, and was very invested in me being a success. The terms were friendly and I was treated as an individual, not a statistic. CLFCR's loan helped me leverage additional funding, too. I couldn't have done it without CLFCR.”
The Community Loan Fund is celebrating 30 years of providing thoughtful and uncommon financing in the Capital Region for affordable housing projects, micro-businesses, and women and minority-owned businesses. The organization works with banks and individual donors to provide worthy projects and entrepreneurs loans at affordable rates they may not find through traditional means. Often, a loan from CLFCR leverages additional lending from traditional and other sources, and in this way, communities are benefiting from businesses and housing that otherwise may not have launched.
“Just the thought of going to a bank terrified me,” said Jaime Cashier, interior designer and retailer located in Front Street Home, Ballston Spa. “A store within a store? They'd never understand. What an intimidating process. CLFCR took that intimidation away. They asked hard questions, of course, but they walked me through it. They were willing to understand my vision, not just check off boxes for a loan for a store. CLFCR is progressive and helpful. I would highly recommend them to anyone starting a business.”
The Bundle Store owner, Amber Chaves, said, "When I decided to go into retail, I carefully researched finance options, and that's how I found the Community Loan Fund. Retail is hard, and success takes time. CLFCR understands that, and they told me I was the perfect candidate. They were straightforward, clear, with an easy, relaxed office of people working together - not bureaucratic at all. Now I'm contributing natural parenting information and products to the new mom community and considering hiring more staff."
The Spring Mini-Tour is the first in a series of events around the Capital Region leading to a capstone celebration in October of the Community Loan Fund’s 30th anniversary.
About the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region
The Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region is a non-profit community development financial institution serving the Capital Region of New York State -- Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington Counties.
Incorporated in 1985, its mission is to promote sustainable community development efforts for economically underserved people and communities. CLFCR provides access to capital by pooling investments and donations from socially-concerned individuals and organizations, and re-lending it to non-profit organizations for affordable housing and community services, to micro-enterprises for business development, and to individuals for home ownership and repair. CLFCR also offers training and technical assistance programs.
Working with investors, donors, and nonprofits or small business borrowers – CLFCR is strengthening communities and changing lives.
About Good Morning Breakfast Café
Good Morning Café in Ballston Spa, is a unique breakfast restaurant featuring delicious, healthy, freshly-prepared omelets, breakfast sandwiches and wraps, signature soups, and rich, homemade baked goods made with locally-grown, organic, fair trade, and “just plain good” ingredients. The delectable menu is prepared using the freshest, cleanest, most minimally-processed foods available. Good Morning Cafe is committed to intentionally-sourced ingredients and encouraging community init
iatives that support healthy living, sustainability, and caring for others. To that end, the Cafe has created an innovative give-back model that is built right into the menu, with a motto of Eat Good, Do Good, Feel Good. For more information, please visit www.goodmorningbreakfast.com.
About Jaime Cashier and Front Street Home Design Center
Jaime Cashier's vintage and new design retail accents as well as her design services and interior staging offered through Front Street Home in Ballston Spa provide a lighter tone to the antique center and design store. She offers a relaxed, comfortable approach to interior design to help create spaces infused with color, life, and usability. For more information, please visit www.jcashierinteriors.
About The Bundle Store
The Bundle Store in Ballston Spa is the Capital District’s first Natural Parenting Store, specializing in babywearing and cloth diapering. The store offers a variety of natural products and handmade items, as well as classes and resources, for pregnancy and beyond. The unique and playful items available for purchase have been hand-selected for quality, simplicity, and safety so that moms can spend less time reading labels and more time enjoying her pregnancy and baby. Offering expert advice, guidance, and support with babywearing, cloth diapering, nursing bra fittings, natural wellness, play and more. For more information, please visit www.thebundlestore.com.