McCune Foundation Provides Money for New Loan Fund for Central Ave. Businesses
July 27, 2016
ALBUQUERQUE – The McCune Charitable Foundation has provided significant initial seed funding to help build a new loan fund to support small local businesses along Central, specifically those in areas affected by development projects such as Albuquerque Rapid Transit.
The Co-op Capital fund will be a flexible loan instrument enabling a range of financial supports that include forgivable loans to help businesses overcome challenges, and low- and zero-interest loans for façade improvements and other upgrades. Small, local businesses along Central that are affected by ART will be the most immediate beneficiaries.
“The McCune Foundation has been a strong partner over the years, and the fact that they have stepped up to be the first in to this critical fund is just one more example of their innovation and leadership. This money will not only support our small business community, but it also continues to deepen our engagement and communication with them as our city embarks on the most transformational transit oriented development projects in decades,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry.
The City, Foundation staff and other partners will work to leverage the initial grant to build a broader fund. The City has set a goal of raising about $2 million, which will seek contributions from the private sector, financial institutions and other funders with a goal of launching the services in the early fall.
“Accessibility of capital for small businesses is a priority of the Foundation, and this fund is an innovative way to ensure Albuquerque businesses receive help and that their voices are heard,” said Wendy Lewis, executive director of the McCune Foundation. “We look forward to working with City government on this new evolution and to support deeper levels of engagement between government and Albuquerque community members.”
Among the next steps: Foundation staff will work with City officials to investigate how City departments can expand its engagement with the community. The Foundation will also host conversations with non-profits, community organizations and educational institutions to envision how community members can best be reached and engaged in City-led projects.
“This fund, along with other Living Cities Integrative Initiative components, will be a big win for the health and growth of small business and the supporting ecosystem,” said Henry Rael, program officer of the McCune Foundation. “We look forward to future collaborations with the City as we all work to make Albuquerque the most entrepreneurship-focused and community-engaged city in the country.”
The fund will be administered by the Small Business Resource Collaborative, which is working directly with independently-owned local businesses along Central Avenue. The SBRC is an alliance of Albuquerque’s leading non-profit small business development organizations and local business advocates. (www.sbrcabq.com)