Small businesses have the power to propel local economies and uplift communities. When we shop small we’re supporting small businesses that create two out of three net new jobs and employ more than half of the nation’s private workforce.

PopOut Pets

As the holiday shopping season begins, let’s recommit to honoring our neighborhood champions, America’s small businesses. November 28 is Small BusinessSaturday® – a day to celebrate and support small businesses for all they contribute to our communities.

There are an estimated 28 million small businesses in the U.S, which employ more than 50% of the nation’s workforce. Small businesses have generated 65% of the net new jobs since 1965, according to Forbes magazine.

One of the newer small businesses to spring up this year in Carlsbad, California is Pop-Out Pets, launched by owner Kimber Bennett, who re-invented a 130-year-old toy – the stuffed animal.

Bennett’s invention is a line of unique stuffed creatures that each morph into three animals with a tuck and fold that children can easily master. Bennett kick-started her new manufacturing business with a $103,000 SBA Community Advantage loan from CDC Small Business Finance. CDC is the national leader in Community Advantage loans.

Main street businesses are critical to our nation’s success and supporting them during Small Business Saturday is an act of economic patriotism.

Posted on 11/24/2015

It’s not uncommon to end up in a career far afield from your college major. Kei Okumura took this phenomenon to an extreme and now owns her own thriving small business.

With a college degree in political science, you’d think Okumura would have found herself working for an elected official in Washington, D.C. But instead of flying to our nation’s capital, she worked in the film industry for her first career then Okumura flew to Paris to study French pastry baking.

Following her culinary passion, in 2002 she immersed herself in the Ecole Superioure du Cuisine Francaise, a bakery/catering program where she graduated at the top of her class. Returning to Los Angeles, she gained baking experience at local restaurants and then launched her small business dream in 2008 – Sugarbird Sweets and Teas, featuring her products at farmer’s market stands in South Pasadena and Larchmont.

Sugarbird Sweets specializes in artisanal baked goods, gourmet scones, tea-centric pastries and batch blended teas for restaurants and cafes. Okumura sells them retail online and at local farmers’ markets. Initially operating out of rented commercial kitchens across town, Okumura created her first storefront location in Los Angeles’ financial district downtown this year. The investment stretched Okumura’s finances and she needed additional capital to promote Sugarbird and consolidate operations. That’s when she discovered the SBA’s Community Advantage loan program through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program.

With help from CDC Small Business Finance, Okumura applied for and received a $50,000 Community Advantage loan earlier this year, which she is using to expand her budding tea, bakery catering business to the office buildings in the surrounding area.

Kei Okumura and baker Hanna Hillard

Now it’s full steam ahead for Okumura, whose simple yet stylish confectionaries pays tribute to her French adventures and Japanese heritage. Exotic spices, seasonal fruits, teas and surprising textures find their way into her confections and baked goods and teas in a way that sets Sugarbird uniquely apart and attracts a growing customer base.

Posted on 11/12/2015

It’s Veterans Small Business Week (Nov. 2-6), time to honor the men and women who served our country and then turned their dedication to starting and growing a small business.

small business loans for veterans

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There are an estimated 2.4 million veteran-owned small businesses in the U.S., which generate $1.2 trillion in revenue and support nearly 6 million jobs. Click on the Veterans Mean Business image for more eye-popping statistics!

In 2015, CDC Small Business Finance provided over $37 million in loans to veteran-owned small businesses, which anticipate creating/retaining nearly 600 jobs.

CDC honors veteran business owners through our the VetLoan Advantage program which includes special fee reductions and rebates.

For Veteran entrepreneurs approved for an SBA-504 loan, CDC Small Business Finance will present the borrower a cash rebate of up to $3,000 which will be awarded to help offset certain loan expenses. With low rates still available that are locked in for the life of the loan, the savings to the borrower are considerable.

The Community Advantage Loan Program provides financing up to $250,000 for working capital, equipment, inventory, tenant improvements and business acquisitions. Fees include an SBA fee of 2-3% and a packaging fee of up to 1%. CDC will waive the packaging fee for veterans which is a savings of up to $2,500!

Veterans who get an SBA Microloan will also see a considerable savings through this program. CDC will waive the 2% loan fee for a savings up to $1,000. That’s more money in a vet’s pocket for running their business.

If you’re a veteran who owns a business, the VetLoan Advantage program will save you money. Contact us today at 800.611.5170 or find a loan expert near you. For more info, visit our VetLoan Advantage page.

Posted on 11/04/2015