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Expansion of Services in Queens

We are extremely pleased to announce that we have just been awarded a generous $60,000 grant by Citi Community Development.

This grant will allow us to increase our outreach to low and moderate income entrepreneurs in Queens, working in collaboration with the Queens Public Library system, economic development organizations, and community organizations serving New York City’s most diverse borough.

The grant will help provide small business owners in Queens with one-on-one counseling as well as workshops — conducted in English, Chinese, and Spanish – on topics such as access     to credit and how to start and run a successful business.

This new funding is particularly welcome because we aspire to be the micro enterprise organization that most successfully serve Queen’s diverse population.  To date we have made a total of 1.9 million dollars in microloans to business owners in Queens (17% of our total loans) and we are determined to increase those numbers in 2012 by dramatically increasing lending and other services in Queens.

In addition, while the increase of lending and other services in Queens is a priority in 2012,  we also want to make sure that we pay particular attention toBoard Member Jilly Kelly with Francess Smith the needs of female entrepreneurs, who historically have a more difficult time getting credit. That the inclusion of women in the financial system has a profound effect on the financial and cultural health of any community was recently re-confirmed by the prestigious panel that spoke as part of the Women as the Way Forward at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

To that end, recent clients have included Chinese immigrant Ai Lan Fu, who used a loan of $35k to increase inventory in her wholesale house wares business and Patricia and Gina Camacho, Ecuadorian sisters who used loans of $2,500 to increase inventory for their accessories business.  These women, all immigrants, minorities, head of households, and proud business owners, are perfect examples of the kind of entrepreneurs that characterize Queens’ vibrant economy.

We are very grateful for Citi Community Development’s continued support for programs that help immigrants become entrepreneurs and small business owners and achieve their own American Dream.