On January 8, 2014, Opportunity Fund, California’s largest non-profit microlender financing small businesses, announced new support to expand its services in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. This expansion was spearheaded by Opportunity Fund Leadership Council member Bud Colligan.
Santa Cruz Tech Beat wrote about Colligan’s South Swell Venture support for the Santa Cruz Tech Ecosystem and formation of Central Coast Angels in December 2013.
“As someone with deep roots in this region, I saw it as an ideal place to expand Opportunity Fund’s proven model for community development,” said Colligan. “There is strong entrepreneurial energy all along the Central Coast, but our small business owners need support in order to help grow our region’s economy and create local jobs. By providing that critical support, we can make huge strides towards putting people to work and empowering our local economy.”
Opportunity Fund’s expansion, which began with a May 2013 initiative, has helped small businesses on the Central Coast by providing business loans averaging $15-25K. These loans are attractive to regional business owners who often have difficulty accessing the credit to start or scale up their companies.
The Packard Foundation recently approved $50K in funding to support small business lending, economic development, and job creation on the Central Coast. The Community Foundation for Monterey County is providing a $14K grant for work in Monterey County. Together, this funding provides a significant boost to Opportunity Fund, which aims to provide loans to more than a hundred businesses in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties over the next two years.
Opportunity Fund has already provided $744K in small business loans to 44 entrepreneurs and small business in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, and this new support will help expand their presence throughout the region.
Learn more at www.opportunityfund.org.
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