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SBA Locally Recognizes Philadelphia’s FINANTA as SBA National Award Winner on May 10th

Advisory Date: 
Monday, May 9, 2016
Advisory Number: 
20160509-003
Contact: 
Robert Goza (610) 382-3084 | robert.goza@sba.gov
FINANTA is SBA’s #1 Mission-Focused Lender for Facilitating Assistance to Small Businesses in Underserved Markets

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Small Business Administration Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho and U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta locally recognize SBA national award winner, Philadelphia-based FINancing And Technical Assistance (FINANTA), with FINANTA President Luis Mora-Rechnitz on May 10 at 2 p.m. FINANTA is the second-ever recipient of SBA’s Jody C. Raskind Lender Award, a recognition presented to a mission-focused lender that has distinguished itself in helping small businesses start, grow and expand. Media are invited to attend.

The award was jointly presented May 1 by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and Associate Administrator for Capital Access, Ann Marie Mehlum, to FINANTA’s President, Luis E. Mora-Rechnitz in Washington, D.C.

WHO: Natalia Olson-Urtecho, U.S. SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator

Antonio (Tony) Leta, U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director

Luis Mora-Rechnitz, President, FINANTA

WHAT:   FINANTA locally recognized as SBA’s number one mission-focused lender; media tour with interview and photo opportunities

WHEN:    May 10 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: 1301 N. 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19122

“It’s absolutely wonderful to see our local partner, FINANTA, receive such a prestigious award for the great things they do for small businesses, particularly those in underserved markets,” said Antonio (Tony) Leta, U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director. “I’m very proud to see Philadelphia’s own FINANTA garner this exceptional distinction for the work Luis and his team do, and for the incredible impact of the role that they play, in helping small businesses start, grow and succeed.”

The Jody C. Raskind Award was presented for the first time in 2015 to honor mission lenders that demonstrate extraordinary commitment to the creation, growth and expansion of small businesses in underserved markets with a demonstrable impact on the communities it serves. Jody Raskind led the SBA Office of Microlending for many years, and was widely known in the microlending community for her commitment and dedication to small businesses, particularly in underserved areas. She died in 2014.

FINANTA was created in 1996, and has since distinguished itself for delivering services such as access to capital, technical assistance and credit building to low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs and first-time homebuyers in Philadelphia who face cultural, social and language barriers. This approach has allowed FINANTA to help economically disadvantaged businesses to succeed for the long-term and create 1,500 jobs, and individuals and families who are borrowing for the first time, with more than 1,200 loans totaling over $45 million.

“For 20 years, FINANTA has economically empowered Philadelphia-area entrepreneurs through its lending and technical assistance services,” said FINANTA President Luis Mora-Rechnitz. “We have distinguished ourselves by delivering services in a way which is acutely conscious of the cultural, social, and language barriers many of our clients encounter. FINANTA's innovative approach to economic self-sufficiency comes from years of research that led us to emphasize credit-building as the foundation for growth. The Jody C. Raskind award is a great honor for us and I’m very proud that FINANTA has won it.”

FINANTA participates in SBA’s Microloan and PRIME Programs, and is a Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution.  In FY2015, FINANTA closed 185 SBA Microloans for $1.6 million, making it the fourth highest-ranking SBA Microlender in terms of both number and dollars of microloans closed in the country. 

As part of its PRECAPS (PRE-CAPital = credit building training + borrowing) lending model, FINANTA has made 796 loans ranging from $600 - $25,000, totaling $4 million since it established this model. Ninety-seven percent of these loans were directed to minority borrowers ranging from low-income to extremely low-income. This focus on very low income populations is widely acknowledged as some of the most difficult but critical microlending to do successfully.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012 has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

National Small Business Week is an annual event organized by SBA to recognize the achievements of the top small businesses in the nation and recognizes the small business community’s contribution to the American economy. Since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. This year’s National Small Business Week was recognized from May 1-7 with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix, Oakland and San Jose, Calif. SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania awards are local observances of the annual Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week.

SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta will present the 2016 Small Business Week Awards at the annual “SBA Day at the Ballpark” event June 8. The event is open to the media. The awards ceremony begins at 10 a.m. June 8 with a luncheon at the “XFINITY Live! Philadelphia” restaurant at 1100 Pattison Ave. (tickets available: www.xfinityLive.com/SBADay) followed by a 1:05 p.m. Phillies game at nearby Citizens Bank Park (tickets available: www.phillies.com/sbaday). The event is cosponsored by Constant Contact and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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To request interviews or photos, contact Robert Goza, SBA’s Public Information Officer in the Eastern Pennsylvania District Office, at 610-382-3084 or robert.goza@sba.gov.

Cosponsorship Authorization #16-0303-111. SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact: Robert Goza, 610-382-3084.