First State Community Loan Fund (FSCLF) is a not-for-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that specializes in supporting microenterprises, small businesses, and affordable housing throughout the State of Delaware. FSCLF leverages funds from investors and contributors to lend for the start-up and expansion of businesses, the construction and renovation of affordable housing and the provision of essential community services. FSCLF was established in 1993 and the mission of FSCLF is to actively promote and provide creative opportunities for access to capital for small businesses, community organizations and developers of affordable housing throughout Delaware.
The Micro Loan Fund provides loan for individuals and microenterprises from $300 to $15,000. Loans are repaid with interest, over six-months to three-years. The Business Growth Fund provides loans for existing businesses from $15,000 to $50,000. Loans are repaid with interest, over one- to five-years.
Under the Affordable Housing Loan Fund, FSCLF provides financing for developing affordable housing within the State of Delaware. Eligible loan purposes include pre-development, acquisition, new construction and renovation. It provides up to $350,000 per obligor, with a five-year maximum term. Not-for-profit and for profit developers are eligible. The Housing Pre-Development Revolving Loan Fund is a specialty loan fund for experienced not-for-profit developers. Up to $60,000 is provided, per obligor, at a 0% interest rate, for up to 12 months, for predevelopment.
The Community Development Loan Fund provides up to $350,000 per obligator for up to five years for community based projects, such as not-for-profit organizations, childcare centers and community facilities.
The Delawareans Save! Individual Development Account is a savings program designed to help low-income families accumulate a few thousand dollars for buying a home, starting a business, or securing an education. The program matches participant's savings one dollar for each dollar and fifty cents saved.
FSCLF serves New Castle, Kent, and Sussex counties in Delaware. Its borrowers are 58 percent women, 62 percent African American, six percent Hispanic and three percent Asian. Most of FSCLF's clients come from minor urban areas with populations less than 1 million. These borrowers are typically low-income as 65 percent have a household income below 80 percent of the area's median income. Historically, 49 percent of FSCLF's microenterprise borrowers have been categorized as low-income and 12 percent as moderate-income. Often, the microenterprises funded by FSCLF create jobs for other low-income individuals.
As of December 2005, FSCLF had closed 877 loans, totaling over $10.6 million, which has facilitated the financing of 669 microenterprises, 106 small businesses and 102 affordable housing loans. Since 2003, FSCLF's funding has created or retained 205 jobs, created or preserved 162 units of affordable housing and created or retained 411 childcare slots.
First State Community Loan Fundís Community Development initiative is fundamental in helping to open, maintain or renovate many child care establishments throughout the state of Delaware. Ribbons and Bows, owned and operated by Cora Reed and her husband Frederick, was in need of a loan in order to turn their home-based daycare into a full childcare center. The Reeds emphasize education and spirituality in their Christian organization, helping to raise lower income children to grow up in a safe environment. Currently employing 17 people and serving 105 children, the Reeds plan to expand their daycare again in the near future. Full Story