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SBA Welcomes New Women’s Opportunities Resource Center’s Community-based Small Business Lending Initiative

WORC recognized as new SBA Community Advantage Lender at Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse March 18
Release Date: 
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Advisory Number: 
20190314-001
Contact: 
Robert Goza robert.goza@sba.gov | (610) 382-3084

PHILADELPHIA–The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Eastern Pennsylvania District welcomes the Women’s Opportunities Resource Center (WORC) as SBA’s newest SBA Community Advantage Lender March 18 at 11 a.m. at Philadelphia’s Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse. WORC will also be announced as a Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital Program Community Development Financial Institution. Media are invited to attend.

WHAT:  SBA, WORC and Wells Fargo announce WORC as be newest SBA Community Advantage Lender and Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital Program; tour of business, photo and interview opportunities

WHEN:  March 18, 2019 at 11 a.m.  

WHERE:  Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, 2578 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19125

WHO:  Steve Dixel, Acting Director, U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania District

Rob Goza, Lead Economic Development Specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania District

Lynne Cutler, President, Women's Opportunities Resource Center

Joseph Kirk, Region Bank President, Wells Fargo

Ariell Johnson, Owner, Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse

Honorable Mark Squilla, Councilman Mark Squilla, Philadelphia City Council

Sylvie Gallier Howard, First Deputy Commerce Director, City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce

NazAarah Sabree, Director of Field Operations, Office of Neighborhood Business Services

Representatives of U.S. Senate, U.S. House, PA State Senate, PA House and city of Philadelphia Council & Commerce Department

“Our Community Advantage program is designed to meet the credit, management, and technical assistance needs of small businesses in underserved markets,” said SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Acting Director Steve Dixel. “SBA’s Community Advantage lenders, like Lynn Cutler and her team at WORC, help entrepreneurs by providing access to free business counseling and technical assistance while the business owner is putting together their financing request and using the loan to start up and succeed.”

These initiatives will allow WORC to scale up lending to diverse owned small businesses through both step lending to existing borrowers and an outreach campaign into targeted untapped communities. WORC's strategy represents an expansion of the organization’s existing, proven track record in lending to businesses in greater Philadelphia.

“As Pennsylvania’s oldest microenterprise and with a strong emphasis on poverty alleviation, we are extremely proud to be designated a Small Business Administration Community Advantage Loan participant,” said Lynne Cutler, President of the Women’s Opportunities Resource Center. “Small and micro businesses play a major role in the sustainability of our economy and we realize support from the SBA will continue to chart the growth for the clients we serve in the greater Philadelphia region."

WORC small business client Ariell Johnson had the idea for Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse in 2003 while she was an accounting student at Temple University. Thirteen years in the making, Amalgam opened its doors in 2015, garnering national media attention because of its commitment to representation and inclusion. Amalgam is the only black-woman owned shop of its kind, and the first black-woman owned comic book store on the East Coast.

For more information contact Rob Goza, SBA Eastern Pennsylvania District Office, at 610-382- 3082 or robert.goza@sba.gov

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U.S. Small Business Administration: The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.  

SBA’s Community Advantage Loan Program is designed to meet the credit, management, and technical assistance needs of for-profit small businesses in underserved markets. Although a borrower must prove credit-worthiness and the viability of their business idea, unlike traditional lending, qualification for the program is not limited by the size of the borrower’s balance sheet, or the amount of collateral involved. Community Advantage lenders are community-based financial institutions focused on financing for women, veterans, low-income borrowers, and minority entrepreneurs just starting up or in business for a few years. The program provides access to free business counseling and technical assistance at the same time the business owner is putting together their financing.

Women’s Opportunities Resource Center:  The mission of WORC is to promote social and economic self-sufficiency primarily for economically disadvantaged women and their families. WORC provides training, individual business assistance, incentive savings program, job placement, and access to business and financial resources. WORC empowers its constituents through various self-help strategies including savings, a self-employment network, and access to its local and national affiliations. Additionally, WORC encourages community awareness and responsiveness concerning issues impacting economic equity and independence. To learn more about WORC, feel free to visit: www.worc-pa.com.

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,950 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 37 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 262,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse is a comic book store and coffee shop hybrid located in the Kensington section of North Philadelphia. Amalgam is a celebration of geek culture. A place for comic book fans, hardcore gamers, movie addicts, television connoisseurs, and zombie apocalypse survivalists to meet and – with their powers combined – change the world a little bit. Amalgam specializes in comics, toys & figurines, games, comic related magazines, apparel, coffee & espresso related beverages, and baked goods. A safe haven for all of geekdom, proudly serving Philly Fair Trade coffee! Johnson has dreams of one day becoming a super-hero. Owner Ariell Johnson has dreams of one day becoming a super-hero. When she’s not catching up on her reading or bingeing a new favorite TV show she’s dancing, practicing circus aerials and throwing axes. Being a geek is in her blood; her father was a huge comic book nerd and her mom was a sci-fi nerd, so things like Thundercats, She-Ra, Gargoyles, Red Dwarf, X-Files and Quantum Leap were a huge part of her childhood.  At this point her fandoms are too many to count, but X-Men is still #1 in her heart.