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VEDC Announces An Unprecedented Customer Experience In The CDFI Field

Non-profit organization providing finance and training solutions VEDC offers Technical Assistance to small businesses in California and Nevada, and have begun hosting webinar training courses across the country. Below is our interview with Quentin D. Strode, President and Chief Executive Officer of VEDC:

Quentin D Strode1

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to VEDC?

A: VEDC is one of the largest Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) in the US, and a premier small business lender and educator. We offer Technical Assistance to small businesses in California and Nevada, and have begun hosting webinar training courses across the country. In Los Angeles, we run two BusinessSource Centers in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office, offering one-on-one training and group workshops for entrepreneurs. We also run Women’s Business Centers in Los Angeles and Las Vegas with similar training opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Our second function is that of a small business lender, providing Microloans, SBA Loans and Direct Small Business Loans to both start-up and existing businesses. VEDC is one of the few institutions offering a combination of technical assistance and financing to our clients.

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Q: What is unique about VEDC and how does it stand out from competition?

A: VEDC is in the midst of a complete re-engineering of our process and customer experience. Not only do we offer products and services and reasonable rates to entrepreneurs that do not qualify anywhere else, but we also want to make our process as simple as possible for our clients. By leveraging technology and our expertise, we will be able to offer quality products at reasonable rates, and a quick turnaround, without compromising our strong credit standards. Although most institutions consider our clients “risky”, we have perfected our lending methods to offer loans successfully to the people who need them the most. Our loss rate has been historically low given the risk profile of business owners we serve.

Most entrepreneurs don’t understand what a CDFI is, or even know they exist. Small businesses often sink thousands of dollars further into debt from predatory loans without knowing the full range of options available to them. We offer lower rates, reasonable terms, and we finance folks with lower FICO scores. We even fund start-ups! That’s a huge differentiator compared to the competition, and especially CDFIs.

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Q: Could you give us more insights into your financing solutions?

A: We offer 3 basic products:

Microloans – These loans range from $1,000 to $50,000 dollars and have a typical term of 3-5 years depending on the use of funds

SBA Loans – These loans range from $50,000 to $250,000 and have a typical term of 3-7 years depending of the use of funds. Sometimes these loans have a lower rate because of the guarantee aspects, but can take longer to process and require a bit more paperwork

Direct Loans – These loans range from $50,000 to $500,000 and have a typical term of 3-7 years depending of the use of funds. Sometimes these loans have a higher rate because of the risk profile, but are often processed faster than our SBA product

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Q: What geographic markets are you focusing on currently?

A: We currently offer loans in the States of California, Nevada, Utah, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida. We offer Technical Assistance in Southern California and Las Vegas.

Q: What can we expect from you in next six months?

A: We expect 2017-2018 to be a great year for VEDC! We will be finalizing the rollout of our technology to provide an unprecedented customer experience in the CDFI field. We will develop a keen focus on being best in class in our core business, and look to expand our product offering during the balance of the year. And finally, we will work to create natural partnerships with existing CDFIs in way we haven’t in the past, in hopes of generating a dynamic that allows for more financing opportunities for our constituency.

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