Summary: For people with low income, they might be struggling to have a quality life due to many obstacles that they have, especially financial obstacles. These people might not be able to afford a good home, have a quality job, as well as give a good education for their children. On top of that, they might not have access to good credit sources like traditional banks and other lenders due to various reasons. This is where the community-based financial institutions are needed to cater the needs for these people in terms of education and access to affordable loans. Community Loan Fund is one of these community-based financial institutions that provides life-transforming loans and education for the New Hampshire community.
Everybody wants to have a high-quality living, but not everyone can achieve that. One of the biggest obstacles for anyone to achieve the high-quality living that they deserve is the financial obstacle. Sometimes, people have low income not because they are incapable of getting a higher-paying job, but it is often because they lack the opportunity to get the job that they want. It is the case with many people nowadays, especially in New Hampshire.
With the lack of opportunity and low-income source, people need to have some kind of help that can turn their life around in the right direction. Maybe they want to start a small business, but they didn’t have any access to the traditional bank loans, or they were out of qualifications. This is where the community-based financial institution like Community Loan Fund is needed for them to start changing their life. With the loans provided by Community Loan Fund, people can take the steps to transform their life into the high-quality life that they deserve to get. Not only that, they can also improve various aspects of their life, including education, business, lifestyle, and more.
Community Loan Fund is the community-based financial service in New Hampshire that provides life-transforming loans and educational support for people across New Hampshire. This organization turns the investments and donations that they receive to provide loans for people across New Hampshire to change their life one step at a time. This organization provides loans for business owners, home buyers, community service organizations, housing developers, communities, food producers, and more.
To find out more information about Community Loan Fund, we have interviewed Liz Short, Business Finance Program Director from Community Loan Fund.
The Background History of Community Loan Fund
Community Loan Fund is the New Hampshire-based community loan provider that started more than three decades ago, in the year 1983. The organization itself was founded with two main objectives, which are to help people with low income with the access to reliable credit sources that they can use to change their life, as well as to encourage organizations to help achieve this goal by providing investments and donations. Thus, Community Loan Fund was started as the provider of reliable credit loans for people across New Hampshire who need this kind of opportunity.
As time goes by, people use the loans provided by this organization for various purposes, including building a business, putting their children in the best educational institutions, buying affordable homes, and many more. These loans have transformed the life of people in the local community throughout the years. As Liz Short shared the history of Community Loan Fund with us,
“The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund was established in 1983 with two powerful ideas: That many people with low incomes can become more self-sufficient and participate in the economy if they have access to fair sources of credit, and that community-minded people and organizations would invest in providing the opportunity for their neighbors when they were confident their money would be used wisely, responsibly, and for maximum impact.
We were created to bridge those two groups.
We provide the financing and educational tools people need to have affordable homes, quality jobs, and child care.”
How Community Loan Fund Helps Businesses to Grow
One of the various loans offered by this organization is the loans targeted for business owners. There are various businesses that this organization can support, including manufacturing, technology, retail, professional services, and other sectors. Community Loan Fund has helped various businesses to grow within the community with their investments and loans.
The goal of this organization is to help businesses around New Hampshire to grow while helping the community at the same time. It prioritizes helping businesses that offer employment to people who didn’t have the regular four-year college education. Not only that, Community Loan Fund also offers their loans and investments by participating with other lenders and investors as well. Liz explained about the focus of their business loans and how they helped others with it,
“We offer growth capital to several types of businesses, including those in the manufacturing, local food, technology, retail, energy, and professional services sectors, and particularly those that offer jobs to workers who don’t have four-year college degrees.
We offer a full range of business loans and investments, and participate with other lenders and investors, to create customized financing packages shaped to each business’s strategic needs. We also offer referrals to a network of skilled business advisors and resources.”
How Community Loan Fund Minimizes the Risks of Giving Loans to Various Types of Businesses
By providing loans to various types of business, Community Loan Fund is able to help many business owners achieve their goals as well as transform their life to the better. Also, it can help the people working for the company in getting a better and more reliable employer that can continuously provide jobs for them. However, providing loans for various types of businesses has its own challenges and potential risks.
In order to minimize the risks, this organization has the strategy to build strong relationships with the business owners, as well as maintain good relationships with their bank partners. By having this strategy, Community Loan Fund can minimize their risks by providing the best solutions for business owners when things get a little rough. It will ensure that the loans that they have provided are given to the right hands. Liz explained to us about how this organization managed to minimize the risks of giving loans to various types of businesses,
“We build strong connections with business owners to understand their opportunities and challenges. We then focus our capacity-building on helping them identify their strategic needs and funnel resources to address those needs. Those resources might include helping them create an advisory board, or providing matched grant funding, or connecting them with experts who can help with strategic projects.
Strong relationships with our bank partners also minimize risk. If and when things get difficult for the business, we’re able to exercise patience and find creative solutions.”
The Difference between the Loans Given by Community Loan Fund and the Traditional Banks or Lenders
The loans given by Community Loan Fund and the traditional banks or lenders differ mainly because of the financial sources of this organization. First of all, this organization provides loans from their own private funds, which is what makes this organization very flexible in giving a wide range of loans for many people. The loan types are also varied, whether it is in the form of investment or traditional lending.
As in the case with regular banks or lenders, they will usually provide traditional debts to the people without giving any other types of support. With Community Loan Fund, they don’t just provide the traditional debt or investment, but they also provide various types of support to assist business owners achieve their goals and become a success. So, it provides much more than the loans provided by traditional banks or lenders. Liz explained about the differences between loans provided by this organization and loans provided by regular banks or lenders,
“Because our loan/investment pool is privately funded (by interest-paying investments in the Community Loan Fund, as well as our own equity), we are able not only to be flexible, but to offer a wide range of financing, from traditional debt to royalty (or mezzanine) investments. We’re also very comfortable partnering with banks and other lenders to fill gaps between what they can offer and what a company needs. Finally, we bring more than a loan transaction; we’re problem-solvers and bridge-builders. We’re all about setting the business up for growth and success.”
Examples of Success Stories from Community Loan Fund
Throughout the years since its first launch in 1983, Community Loan Fund has helped many people achieve their goals, build their business, give the best education for their children, and generally transform their life for the better. There are countless of people who have found that the loans from this organization is truly worth their while. Many people across New Hampshire has felt the real benefits of these loans in more than 30 years.
One example of the success story is about bringing the solar power for non-profit organizations. Usually, non-profit organizations couldn’t afford to have solar power because they didn’t qualify for tax credits. But, Community Loan Fund was able to solve this problem and provide the solar power that these non-profit organizations need. Lots more stories can be read on the Impact link that you can find on the official website. As a conclusion for our interview with Liz Short, she shared with us some success stories for Community Loan Fund,
“A couple from the past year are ReVision Energy which is bringing solar power to nonprofits and other entities that usually can’t afford solar because they don’t qualify for tax credits, and MamaSezz, the first whole-food, plant-based food delivery service in the U.S. Throwback Brewery and Aissa Sweets have also had great success.”
For more information about Community Loan Fund, you can visit the official website at https://communityloanfund.org/.