Business owners who received loans from the California Rebuilding Fund say the program has improved their finances, their stress levels, and their employees’ quality of life, according to a new report analyzing the program’s impact.
SACRAMENTO, CA, October 18, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — Business owners who received loans from the California Rebuilding Fund say the program has helped them better manage their finances and maintain their employees, according to a new report released today from research firm 60_decibels and fund supporters CRF USA, Calvert Impact and Kiva. The report, which surveyed 287 California Rebuilding Fund recipients to analyze the impact of the program on the state’s small businesses, also found nearly 80% of recipients would recommend the program to others, 63% say they could not have easily found an alternative financing source, and one in five say they would have closed permanently without the loan.
The Fund still has approximately $15 million in capital available and will close on Nov. 15 or when funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Small businesses can visit www.CALoanFund.org to learn more.
Key findings from the study of California Rebuilding Fund recipients include:
– 46% had never borrowed money for their business prior to applying for this loan
– 63% indicate they could not have easily found a good alternative to the California Rebuilding Fund loan
– 68% report they can better manage their finances now than before receiving the loan
– 67% say their ability to maintain jobs has increased because of the loan
– 77% say their stress levels related to finances has decreased as a result of the loan
– 21% believe they would have closed permanently if not for accessing the loan
– 78% would recommend the program to others, citing benefits like an easy process, affordable interest rates, and helpful staff
“After the pandemic nearly wiped out all of our revenue, a loan from the California Rebuilding Fund helped us get back on track,” said Alicia Villanueva, owner of Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas in Hayward, who received a California Rebuilding Fund loan in 2021. “The loan gave me the freedom to keep my employees and gain back our lost business. Now, I’m optimistic for the future.”
A public-private partnership launched in Dec. 2020 to reach small businesses that might be otherwise unable to access bank loans, the California Rebuilding Fund has distributed nearly $80 million in low-interest loans and free business support to approximately 1,350 small businesses.
“We created the California Rebuilding Fund because we wanted to support the state’s community lenders through a vehicle that could quickly and responsibly deliver capital to small businesses in need,” said Beth Bafford, vice president of syndications and strategy at Calvert Impact, which arranged the California Rebuilding Fund as well as other small business funds around the country. “This new research shows the Fund did exactly what we set out to do – which is reach underbanked communities, put affordable capital in the hands of those who needed it the most, and build a more equitable, resilient small business recovery.”
The California Rebuilding Fund was made possible, in part, by an anchor investment by the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank), a state agency housed within the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “The success of any program is measured by its impact, and we now know 20% of the businesses surveyed said they would have closed permanently were it not for the California Rebuilding Fund,” said IBank Executive Director Scott Wu. “Thirty-seven percent said they would have had to reduce staff hours for their employees, and 34% said they would have had to lay off staff, had they not received a loan from the Fund. The results speak for themselves and IBank is proud of its role in preserving California jobs and keeping small businesses open.”
While the California Rebuilding Fund was briefly closed because high demand had exhausted funds, the program announced a new $15 million in September to allow for one final round of applications. The California Rebuilding Fund will close on Nov. 15 or when funds run out, whichever comes first.
To set up an interview with a small business expert to discuss the California Rebuilding Fund or with a small business owner who has benefitted from the Fund, please contact Blake Case at [email protected] or (601) 832-6079. Interviews are available in English and Spanish.
About the California Rebuilding Fund
The California Rebuilding Fund is a public-private partnership that raises capital from private, philanthropic and public sector investors to support new lending by Community Development Financial Institutions across California. The fund supports the long-term recovery of the state’s smallest businesses as they rebuild and recover. Learn more: www.CALoanFund.org.
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