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WPFSI is now an SBA Microlender

SBA Welcomes West Philadelphia Financial Services as its Newest Microlender Providing Community Development Support and Entrepreneurship Support
Release Date: 
Monday, October 30, 2017
Release Number: 
20171030-001
Contact: 
Robert Goza (610) 382-3084 | robert.goza@sba.gov

PHILADELPHIA– The U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania District Office welcomes West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution as an SBA microlender. SBA has approved and funded WPFSI, as one of its microlending partners, to provide loans up to $50,000 – the average microloan is about $13,000 – to help small businesses and certain not-for-profit childcare centers start up and expand.

Under its Microloan program, SBA provides funds to specially designated intermediary lenders, like WPFSI, which are nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance. These intermediaries administer the Microloan program for eligible borrowers.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome WPFSI to our family of community development organizations providing microlending services to our local entrepreneurs. SBA applauds WPFSI for their willingness to fund small businesses, which helps create jobs and improve the economy in our communities,” said Antonio (Tony) Leta, Director, SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania District Office. “SBA has excellent partnerships with community development organizations across communities throughout eastern Pennsylvania, so it’s great to have WPFSI expand into SBA microlending as part of the economic development team that brings SBA assistance into our communities. Microloans can be a very powerful tool for a small business, and SBA microlenders made over $2 million to entrepreneurs last fiscal year. We welcome WPFSI to the team!”

“Our mission at West Philadelphia Financial Services is to serve as an economic engine that facilitates empowerment and wealth building through investment in communities, so becoming an SBA microlender was a great way to expand our capability to help small businesses in our community,” said WPFSI Executive Director James Burnett. “We are committed to producing tangible results for residents and businesses in our neighborhoods: creating jobs and providing community services to enrich the lives of those in our community. We have been since the residents of the West Philadelphia Empowerment Zone came together to create WPFSI in 1995 and becoming an SBA microlender is a perfect fit for our mission.”

When the residents of the West Philadelphia Empowerment Zone (EZ) came together to create WPFSI in 1995, they demanded the organization be more than just a lender. WPFI’s mission remains to expand economic opportunity for underserved people and communities so that all people in the communities have access to the investment capital and financial services they need to prosper. Founded as a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization to provide economic development leadership and resources to the West Philadelphia EZ, WPFSI follows its values of Ideas, Inclusion, Fairness, Transparency, Independent, Perseverance, and Opportunity to achieve significant impact on the development of its neighborhoods.

WPFSI is often referred to as the “economic engine” for their community, because its founding values are alive and well today through: WPFSI’s Small Business Loan Program, 100 Plus Loan Service, Customer Service, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) certification through the U.S. Department of the Treasury and now as a U.S. Small Business Administration Microlender. For more information on WPFSI, please visit their website at http://www.wpfsi.com/.

Under SBA’s Microloan program, each intermediary lender has its own lending and credit requirements. Generally, intermediaries require some type of collateral as well as the personal guarantee of the business owner. Microloans can be used for working capital, inventory or supplies, furniture or fixtures, machinery or equipment but cannot be used to pay existing debts or to purchase real estate. Loan repayment terms vary according to several factors, including loan amount, planned use of funds, requirements determined by the intermediary lender, needs of the small business borrower and the maximum repayment term allowed for an SBA microloan is six years. Interest rates vary, depending on the intermediary lender and costs to the intermediary from the U.S. Treasury. Generally, these rates will be between 8 and 13 percent.

Microloans are available through certain nonprofit, community-based organizations that are experienced in lending and business management assistance. If you apply for SBA microloan financing, you may be required to fulfill training or planning requirements before your loan application is considered. This business training is designed to help you launch or expand your business. For a complete list of participating lenders, please visit www.sba.gov.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration is a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government that helps Americans start, build and grow small businesses. SBA delivers its services through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations across the U.S. and its territories. Learn more at www.sba.gov/pa.