Community and Economic Development

Friday, June 17, 2005

CONTACT:   Eric Symons
(619) 533-5318
Tim Graham
(619) 533-5130

New Regional Loan Fund Gets Local Coffee Company Brewing
Élan Organic Coffees Secures First Loan From City's Regional Revolving Loan Fund

SAN DIEGO - The City of San Diego is making another funding source available to small businesses to further assist and support this critical sector of the local economy. The City's newest program, the San Diego Regional Revolving Loan Fund (SDRRLF), targets businesses in the Central and South County areas, and today approved its first loan by awarding $225,000 to Élan Organic Coffees located in Downtown San Diego.

The $3 million San Diego Regional Revolving Loan Fund combines a $1.5 million federal grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) with a local match from the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista. The program is designed to improve economically distressed areas, increase the numbers and level of business operations, and subsequently increase incomes and earning capacities. The SDRRLF can supplement private financing of new or rehabilitated buildings, fixed machinery and equipment, working capital and soft costs, in the RLF project area. The project area is defined as eligible census tracts within the four participating cities.

"The San Diego Regional Revolving Loan Fund brings more opportunities to businesses located in underserved areas to secure funding outside of traditional bank loans," said Hank Cunningham, director of the City's Community and Economic Development Department. "Small businesses like Élan Organic are crucial to the City of San Diego's economic vitality, and we are committed to helping them prosper."

Élan Organic Coffee is a San Diego based coffee developer and importer that offers certified organically shade grown coffees developed through partnerships with village co-ops in coffee production countries in Central America, South America and Papua New Guinea.

"We are excited and thankful for the unique opportunity the San Diego Regional Revolving Loan Fund has provided us," stated Karen Cebreros, president of Élan Organic Coffee. "The funding will allow Élan to expand, create jobs and open up access to hundreds of small community growers that previously could not reach the export market with their specialty coffees."

The City's Community and Economic Development Department has developed three separate revolving loan funds to address the full spectrum of funding needs for small businesses:

  • The $1 million San Diego Technology Fund provides capital to technology companies that have the capacity to generate follow-on investments, creating the potential for large companies that promote regional prosperity.

  • The $3 million San Diego Regional Revolving Loan Fund provides capital to the mid-level non-technology companies that have a strong likelihood of generating jobs. This fund was created in partnership with Chula Vista, National City and Imperial Beach to benefit the regional economy.

  • The $500,000 Metro Revolving Loan Fund provides funding to underserved small business owners located in a low- and moderate-income census tract that needs start-up capital, but can't meet the terms of traditional banks.

For more information on the San Diego Regional Revolving Loan Fund and other City of San Diego business assistance programs, visit the City's Web site or call the Community and Economic Development Department at (619) 533-4233.

For more information on Élan Organic Coffee visit their web site at www.elanorganic.com or call (619)235-0392.

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With an emphasis on the City's urban core neighborhoods and low and moderate income residents, the Community and Economic Development Department strives to improve the quality of life and ensure a healthy economy in San Diego through job development, business development, neighborhood revitalization, public improvements, redevelopment, social services, and revenue enhancement.
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