CT Latino News covers the social determinants of health—among the state’s diverse Hispanic-Latino populations. Economic stability and housing security are essential to one’s life and well-being.
After 16 years of operation, Lil’ Sunshine Home Daycare—a 24-hour child care facility in Bridgeport, Connecticut—has plans to expand to a second location with the financial support of the CT Small Business Boost Fund.
“It was my first time applying for a business loan,” shared Lil’ Sunshine Owner Kamara Moodie. “I’m expanding my child care services from a family child care to a small center, and the funds will be used for working capital.”
Launched last summer, the fund was intentionally designed to address financial and technical barriers that specifically affect small organizations in underserved communities.
Currently, about 61.3 percent of loans funded by the CT Small Business Boost Fund have gone to Minority- and Women-owned Businesses. As of late June, the CT Small Business Boost Fund has aided local businesses and nonprofits in securing about 279 loans with lenders across Connecticut.
“The focus is really deploying to small businesses and nonprofits in underserved markets and [to] women, people of color, people with disabilities, and veteran-owned businesses,” Director Sheila Hummel of the CT Small Business Development Office told CT Latino News.
Loan applications tend to be complex, which acts as a common barrier for local organizations, preventing them from accessing the financial support they need. In response, the fund offers free technical assistance to organizations before, during, and after the application process.
Approved applicants are carefully matched with lenders who will guide them through the application and approval process so they can confidently apply for loans.
“This process should allow business owners, especially minority business owners, to not only gain a loan approval but also understand a loan application process for the next time they apply for a loan through either a CDFI or a bank,” Associate Lending Manager of the National Development Council Jovanna Mejia told CT Latino News.
Mejia also shared that the program “offers flexible credit parameters — so, a lower cash flow requirement and no collateral requirement [so that] historically underserved businesses can gain access to capital when otherwise they would not be able to do so. This is critical as it helps to tear down historical barriers and allows businesses to build capacity over time.”
Publisher’s Notes: CT Latino News is a partner of the CT Small Business Boost Fund in supporting the state’s Hispanic and Latino communities.