Amy Lisewski, owner of Finest City Improv

Amy Lisewski wasn’t the typical person you find at an improvisation comedy class.  She was analytical, worrisome and craved control.  But the Hollywood class turned out to be a fork in her career road.

Armed with a degree in Library and Information Science, Amy worked with organizations to improve their information management and information research methods. Doesn’t sound too funny, does it?

“I was very good at my job,” said Amy. “I had an analytical brain.  I was a perfectionist.  I hated making a mistake.  The degree and career I had made perfect sense.”

”Then the Hollywood improv class jolted her out of her comfort zone and fate intervened with a life lesson.  She boiled it down to three things:  be present, listen and say “yes.”  This 3-ingredient mantra, practiced daily, made the perfect recipe for Amy to start her own business.  Finest City Improv was soon born. Finest City Improv recently partnered with CDC Small Business Finance to harness the power of SBA’s Community Advantage loan program, considered an excellent catalyst for someone with a great idea.  These loans provide $50,000 up to $250,000 in working capital to help entrepreneurs kick-start a small business.

Since the business’ launch, Finest City Improv has been on a roll.  Improv shows are staged every Thursday through Sunday, over 70 students are enrolled in classes and well-known corporate clients include GoPro, Kaiser, Seer Interactive and The Komen Foundation.

“I sometimes look back and think about the person I was before improv changed my life,” said Amy.  I’m still an analytical thinker, a perfectionist and inquisitive, but I’m thankful every day I decided to say “yes” to something outside my comfort zone.”


Posted on 7/24/2014

Financing for hotels via SBA loan programs is up over 300% in 2014 from the prior year. As the hospitality industry shows positive signs of growth, more hotel owners are seeking loans to purchase, renovate and build hotel properties.


  • Up to 85% financing available
  • Loans can be used for hotel purchases, renovations, and construction
  • Total project of up to $30 million
  • Loans are facilitated by a CDC (Certified Development Company) in partnership with a bank or other lender
  • Fixed interest rate - 20 years, fully amortized on CDC/SBA portion
  • No additional collateral required
  • No maximum total project size, no limit on number of loans for projects that take advantage of SBA’s Green Energy program
  • CDC facilitates entire financing by marketing the deal to multiple lenders to ensure the best rates and terms, and a successful close of escrow


“The demand for high-tech capabilities in hotels is rising and our renovations would have been very difficult without SBA 504 financing, said La Quinta owner Rupesh Patel, who has built, owned and operated hotels for over 35 years. “La Quinta provides a top-quality experience and will continue to compete with higher-scale motels, thanks to the SBA-504 loan. It makes buying a commercial building achievable.”

La Quinta Inn San Jose, CA SBA 504 Recipient    News icon SBA hotel financing

Contact a Loan Expert in your area today for more information. Find us on Twitter (@CDC_Loans) and on LinkedIn.

Posted on 7/08/2014

veteran owned businessTomorrow, July 4th, America celebrates their independence. It is also a day that many reflect on the men and women that have served in our Nation’s military to help allow us our freedom. In honor of these Veterans of the United States Military, the VetLoan Advantage was born. Veterans looking to buy, build or grow their business can now receive cash savings in three ways with this loan program.

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. Particularly, the appraisal and environmental fees. 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%. In support of the Nation’s Veterans, CDC Small Business Finance will waive the packaging fee for veterans which is a savings of up to $2,500!

The SBA Microloan‘s Veteran participants will also see a considerable savings through this program. We will waive the 2% loan fee for a savings up to $1,000. That’s more money in your pocket for the important things you need to run your business.

It’s all our big way of saying THANK YOU to our Veterans for all that you do and have done to help make our country the greatest on earth. Happy Fourth of July Veterans! Happy Independence Day to us all!

If you are a Veteran that would be interested in the VetLoan Advantage savings contact us today at 800.611.5170 or find a loan expert near you. Are you a transitioning from service and looking for meaningful employment in the civilian workforce? SBA’s Boots to Business may be for you.

Posted on 7/03/2014