Across the country, NDC’s community partners know all too well that the “credit crunch” is not simply a Wall Street story, not just a Fortune 500 story. They know that it is even more acutely a Main Street story, hurting small businesses who need credit for their daily operations or for their growth and expansion.
But Long Beach, California, is not idly standing by as a lack of credit threatens the potential of the city’s small businesses to survive and prosper. The Grow Long Beach Fund, part of NDC’s Grow America Fund (GAF), has been in operation for more than twelve years, lending nearly $7 million to 21 businesses that have created 200 jobs. But it has never been more important to the Long Beach economy.
The Blood and Cancer Center, a minority owned startup specializing in hematology-oncology, was one business caught in the problems of the credit market. Despite owner and primary physician Dr. Vu Phan’s extensive experience and excellent credit, he was unable to obtain conventional financing because his proposed center would be a new business without a track record. Phan was referred to the City of Long Beach, which immediately recognized the company’s potential and saw a solution in the Grow Long Beach Fund. With Dr. Phan’s strong business plan, and the area’s demonstrated need for oncologists, the Fund was willing to take a chance on the Center, offering below market interest rates and longer than standard terms to facilitate the acquisition of furniture and necessary equipment, soft and closing costs and permanent working capital. With the loan, Dr. Phan and his Center will open as the sole hematology-oncology private practice specifically serving the Community Hospital of Long Beach and will be able to help over 600 patients annually.
The Grow Long Beach Fund will continue to play a strong role in helping the city’s economy weather the current economic storm