COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUND FOUNDATION INC

Small Businesses Find Hope & Opportunity Here

Meriden, CT   |  http://cedf.com

Mission

Community Economic Development Fund Foundation’s (CEDF) mission is to strengthen neighborhood economies by providing flexible financing and technical support to businesses, community organizations and initiatives in communities throughout Connecticut. By allowing clients the opportunity to start a small business enterprise, expand an existing business, take advantage of economies of scale, buy their own buildings, or move into new markets, CEDF provides individuals the chance to realize positive change for themselves, their families, and their communities. The communities in which these entrepreneurs operate their businesses often experience a wide range of social benefits, including an increase of economic activity in neighborhoods, community wellness, blight reduction, and job creation.

Notes from the nonprofit

More about CEDF: We provide loan capital to startup and small businesses that cannot obtain financing from traditional lending institutions AND are either located in a targeted investment community as identified by CT OPM and CT DECD or have an annual household income less than the State median published by HUD. We pride ourselves in offering pragmatics, creative and flexible solutions throughout the life of the loan that ensures each of our clients has a true chance at sustainability. We provide a Business Advisor (BA) to each of our loan recipients for the life of their loan. They meet with clients at least monthly, counsel them on how to manage their business, and provide technical, financial and marketing counseling along with other support services. We provide workshops and presentation to our clients, applicants, and other community individuals who need to master the skills necessary to start and grow a business.

Ruling year info

1994

President and CEO

Mr. James S Bzdyra

Main address

965 East Main St

Meriden, CT 06450 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

06-1380472

NTEE code info

Economic Development (S30)

Management & Technical Assistance (B02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Many Connecticut small business owners and aspirants, especially those of low and moderate income and/or those in municipalities in need of economic revitalization, generally lack access to capital for business formation and expansion due to the high bar set by commercial banks. Applicants from these groups require flexible lending programs to permit participation in the small business economy and require special assistance in the form of initial and ongoing business advice and education.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Small Business Lending

As a mission lender, our customers consist solely of existing and startup small businesses in one of Connecticut's 169 towns that cannot obtain financing from traditional lending institutions and operate a business located in a State of CT designated distressed municipality or to low-to-moderate income applicants with an annual household income equal to or less than HUD's published State median household income cap. For the eighth year in a row, CEDF is CT’s leading SBA Microlender, offering term loans from a few thousand dollars up to $50,000. Through our other tranches of loan capital, CEDF also provides term loans and lines of credit up to $250,000, and owner-occupied commercial real estate loans up to $500,000. We understand that the needs of each business are unique and we are highly flexible and creative to meet those needs. Our goal is to help structure the best funding for a small business.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups
Self-employed people
Veterans

Business Advisory Program: CEDF provides a Business Advisor (BA) to each of our loan recipients for the life of their loan(s) at no charge to them, just prior to loan origination. BAs are full-time CEDF employees and each advisor has owned and operated a successful small business before joining CEDF. This equips them with expert technical knowledge and the willingness to provide attentive, understanding and emotional support to those facing difficult circumstances. CEDF Business Advisors (BA) serve our borrowers as coaches and relationship managers to help foster business growth and reduce risk of business closure. They offer guidance on best practices in management, marketing, finance and operations; help investigate, diagnose or research business challenges and opportunities in order to identify paths to improved results; and coach on matters of leadership, accountability, action planning, idea generation, motivation, and management of the emotional components of business ownership.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people
Self-employed people
Veterans

Business Education Center (BEC): Visit www.weteachsuccess.org - CEDF educates economically marginalized entrepreneurs on the essential knowledge for operating successful, sustainable enterprises. BEC operates in coordination with BA services to maintain an awareness of the most relevant topics for programming. Business Educational offerings are provided to economically marginalized entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color, loan inquiries/applicants and small business borrowers (clients) at little to no cost. We deliver education through a variety of channels, including podcasts, webinars, instructional articles, online education and live seminars, workshops, webinars or teleconferences. Business Advisors further advise small business borrowers on how to implement the lessons learned in a group setting/on-demand offering in their own business model. Prospective borrowers learn how to find and obtain small business loans through Access to Capital seminars and applicants.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Unemployed people
Veterans
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

CEDF strongly believes in the concept of community-driven economic development through community-owned projects. We work with low-to-moderate income communities on projects that support business growth and job creation in Connecticut by providing assistance to cities/towns, community residents, merchant groups, and others who have a vision for ways their community may support the economic environment. We offer assistance in project-related expenses because community development grants help the local business environments grow.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Veterans
Self-employed people
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Small Business Administration - #1 Microlender 2018

Small Business Administration #1 Microlender 8th year in a row 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total dollar amount of loans issued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Social and economic status

Related Program

Small Business Lending

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020, CEDF originated $664,000 in micro-loans through SBA capital and $1.65M in term, LOC and mortgages up to $500k through our affiliate CEDF Fund I, LLC - serving one mission.

Total number of entrepreneurs inquiring about small business loans counseled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Social and economic status

Related Program

Small Business Lending

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020, Pre-loan counseling was provided to 629 entrepreneurs inquiring about small business lending of which 141 completed application packages.

Business Advisory hours provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Social and economic status

Related Program

Business Advisory Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CEDF Business Advisors serve our 205 borrowers as coaches and relationship managers to help foster business growth and reduce risk of business closure.

Total small business education engagements

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Social and economic status

Related Program

Business Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CEDF offers learning in a variety of formats -- online, webinars, instructional articles, podcast series and in-person workshops, primarily in small business marketing, financial and management.

Number of small business jobs supported

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Social and economic status

Related Program

Small Business Lending

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Based on reporting by borrowers of full time and part time jobs created and maintained.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

These are CEDF’s organizational goals:
1. Increasing mission-focused small business lending by expanding available loan capital.
2. Assist our borrowers with responsive, expert technical support services.
3. Educate small business owners and aspirants on the essential knowledge for operating successful, sustainable enterprises.
4. Collaborate with clients and community organizations to advance niche projects supporting economic vitality.

Our organization’s plan are reflected in our program strategies.
Lending
1. Increase Lending Department output capacity.
2. Cultivate new investors and propose existing investors increase their stakes.
3. Achieve certification status for the Foundation as a Community Development Financial Institution.

Business Advisory Services
1. Increase training to Business Advisors to improve their levels of expertise in marketing, management and finance.
2. Catalog the financial acumen of each client in BA conducted evaluations.
3. Help clients formalize business goals and Key Performance Indicators.
4. Reduce overall incidence of noncompliance with meetings or document submission.

Business Education
1. Improve quality, relevance and reach of Business Education Center programming.
2. Increase collaborations with partner organizations to leverage promotion and share instructor resources.

Community Development
1. Design a client-driven community development project award program.
2. Formalize a community development project application.

CEDF ‘s programs, refined over 25 years, include a robust lending team. Our loan officers, underwriter and asset manager all have years of commercial banking experience, led by our president and CEO with 30 years in the industry. Our business advisors all have previously owned successful small businesses and understand the worries and frustrations of growing a customer base and “making payroll.” Our finance staff members have deep experience in nonprofit organizations and even business ownership. The organization is strong financially, self-sustaining operationally and has ample loan capital to meet near-term objectives.

CEDF has been the state’s leading SBA Microlender for seven consecutive years. In our most recent reporting year we loaned more than $2.6M is capital, while supporting 215 clients with over 9,400 business advisory hours. Our clients support more than 1,300 jobs in the Connecticut economy. Our educational programs have expanded greatly since 2017 and now have recorded more than 2,800 engagements in the past year through seminars and workshops, published instructional content, online learning and recorded presentations.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Small business owners and entrepreneurs who own/will own a business in an economically disadvantaged community or be considered low to moderate income based on household income.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Meetings with business advisors,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUND FOUNDATION INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUND FOUNDATION INC

Board of directors
as of 05/02/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. David Cantor

Ana Alfaro

Eversource

Art Casavant

People's United Bank

Kim Healey

NewAlliance Foundation

LaKisha Jordan

Key Bank

Frank Mac Hugh

Webster Bank

Thomas Malloy

Altus Multinational Group, LLC

Pastor Carl McCluster

Shiloh Baptist Church

Ted Murphy

Connecticut Innovations

Mark Nolan

Nolan Real Estate

Commissioner Jorge Perez

State of CT

Richard Stern

Citizens Bank

Holly Williams

State of CT

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/20/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/20/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.