Year In Review

2019 CEO Message

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"I am extremely proud of our work to make a difference in the communities we serve."

Kurt Chilcott, CEO, CDC Small Business Finance



dollars approved
Empowering business owners to invest in building and equipment ownership



dollars approved
Catalyzing small business ownership with low-interest, sustainable working-capital loans



increase in funded loans
Targeted capital to empower and re-energize underserved communities
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My CDC Moment

Hear a few of our 2019 borrowers talk about what it feels like to find out you’re getting funded

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“I’m very happy, very thankful for being in this country. It’s truly a land of opportunity.”

Duke Huynh, owner, Phở Ca Dao

After leaving Vietnam to live in the U.S., Duke Huynh found his opportunities were limited by the language barrier. So he opened up a restaurant, Phở Ca Dao, with his brother and charted his own path. Now he’s proud to employ new immigrants so they can avoid some of the obstacles he faced. The accomplishment, he says, is “one of his joys.”

When he saw the chance to expand his small chain to suburban San Diego, CDC Small Business Finance provided him with SBA 504 financing to help purchase and renovate his first building. He calls the latest Phở Ca Dao “his baby.”

Our Passion is Impact


approved for small businesses


small business owners assisted


financing for entrepreneurs of color, women, and veterans


jobs created and preserved


business advisory hours provided at no cost

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“CDC was a very good company. They actually specifically tell you what to expect.”

Angelica Rojo owner, Red Angel

For a decade, Angelica Rojo built a deep client list as a hairdresser. Yet always in the back of her mind she wanted to own her own shop. After taking a business skills course designed for women, she identified an unfilled niche in the salon business in the desert southeast of Palm Springs. There were no blow-dry bars, a hot growth segment in the industry.

Now she’s filled it, with the help of CDC Small Business Finance, which provided her with the necessary capital to hire employees, build out her space and acquire products for the retail side of her business. She named the salon Red Angel, a play on the translation of her name.

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The Power of Ownership

“If you get a 504 loan and buy your building…now you’re investing in your own asset.”

Chris Kuran, President, Waterstone Faucets

At CDC Small Business Finance we see everyday how building ownership empowers small business owners. Our borrowers share how they build equity, benefit from fixed occupancy costs and own an asset that has value beyond the life-cycle of their business. Hear from one of our borrowers as he reflects on the power of the SBA 504 loan and owning commercial real estate.

Increasing our Impact

As always, the heart of CDC is a continuous drive to increase our impact. A priority in FY19 was identifying opportunities to expand the number of small business owners that we can help get access to capital, in particular, those often left behind. To support our mission, we have increased our presence in several regions including Arizona/Nevada and in California in the Central Valley and Los Angeles.


“Business advising was one of the most important tools we got, aside from our loan.”

Karina Sanchez, Co-owner, Waterhorse Charters

Our business advising team spent FY19 helping over 400 clients. They provided valuable guidance and support, pre-loan to help clients become loan ready and post-loan to help them define business strategy for continued growth and long-term success.

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“If you have the heart and passion, trust that you’ll find support for your dream along the way.”

Cindy Cate, owner, Hello Birdie Nail & Lash Lab

When she wanted to expand Hello Birdie Nail & Lash Lab, Cindy Cate leveraged community resources in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego in the search for a lender ready to support investment in low-to-moderate income areas. That’s how she found CDC Small Business Finance. She applied her loan not only to hiring new employees, adding more stations and expanding her retail stock, but to paying off high-interest debt. She also points to her relationship with one of our Senior Business Advisers as a benefit, giving her someone with whom she can exchange ideas for Hello Birdie’s future growth.

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Advocacy + Policy

In FY19, we testified in front of the House Small Business Sub-Committee and the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee to support the SBA Modernization Act, which included SBA 504 and SBA Microloan updates, and SBA Community Advantage permanency. In California, we also supported the passage of the important Truth-In-Lending Bill.

In addition, we continued to champion our industry with key board roles at NADCO (National Association of Development Companies) and Opportunity Finance Network.

Impact Capital

Thank you to our investors. Your commitment in 2019 allowed us to create a much deeper impact in the small business community.

Our aligned efforts help:

– Create jobs and drive economic development in underserved neighborhoods

– Provide ALL small business owners access to responsible and affordable capital

– Bridge the racial wealth gap with a focus on people of color and underserved communities

– Offer business advising to build financial acumen

– Increase opportunities for commercial real estate ownership


Capital Partners

Bank of America – $10M* | Union Bank – $3M* | CIT – $2M*

City of San Diego – $1M | SBA Microloan – $1M

*Approved in FY19, funded Q1 FY20


Grant Partners

Grantors over $25,000

CIT | City of San Diego | JPMorgan Chase | SBA

Union Bank | US Bank | Wells Fargo Bank

Interested in joining our mission? Contact Robert Villarreal or call 619.243.8652 to learn more.

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“Our hope is this space will help all small business owners grow in this community.”

Brook Dailey, co-owner, San Diego Made Factory

The sudden loss of two popular arts spaces not only displaced four San Diego creatives – it gave them an idea. Why not open their own co-working space for fellow artisans, designers and makers?

Like many aspiring entrepreneurs looking for a startup loan, they struck out with traditional lenders. The partners, Sarah Anderson, Brook Dailey, Kristin Dinnis and Brittany Kaszas, were able to bring San Diego Made Factory to life, with CDC Small Business Finance’s guidance. The project offers additional value, as it also will help revitalize Logan Heights, one of San Diego’s oldest communities. We provided a second loan when the entrepreneurs realized they needed more funds for construction. Because we’re a nonprofit lender with flexibility we were able to pivot to meet their needs.

The Lab: Keeping Pace with Business Owners’ Needs

As the financial and business landscape continuously changes, we used our Lab even more in FY19. The Lab teams drive innovation which leads to continuous improvement. The cross-department collaboration and research helps us smartly shift our processes and offerings to meet small business owners where they need help the most. We developed two new programs this year designed to provide greater resources to our clients and assist them as they set out to build strong foundations for their small businesses.

FY19 Arthur H. Goodman Scholarship Recipient

Dalila Robledo, University of California, Berkeley

Lacking even basic English and Math skills, Dalila, a first-generation American, nonetheless plowed through remedial classes, surpassed her peers academically, and gave back to her community as a math and science tutor. Robledo — who attended UC Berkeley — spent a summer in Switzerland performing high-level research at CERN, one of the most renowned science labs in the world.

The chance to attend Berkeley without debt and conduct research at facilities such as CERN was partly made possible through the Arthur H. Goodman Scholarship. The annual award honors service-minded women and minorities advancing from community college to four-year universities in California or Arizona.


Thank You!

We sincerely thank everyone who played a part in helping the small business community in 2019. We do not do this work alone and greatly appreciate our many partners and clients.


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