Press Release
July 14, 2015
3 minute read

EDA Showcases Small Business Lending Program with Visit to Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park

Pictured, from left to right, are Jenn Hampton, Co-owner/Curator, Parlor Gallery; Melissa Orsen, Chief Executive Officer, New Jersey Economic Development Authority; and Marie Mascherin, Chief Lending Officer, New Jersey Community Capital.

TRENTON, N.J. (July 14, 2015) –  To raise awareness of the State’s efforts to help small businesses grow and thrive, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) and New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) today visited Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park. The company, a woman-owned, artist directed-and-curated gallery, recently received a $20,000 working capital loan.
Through the EDA’s Loans to Lenders program, NJCC has received $1.25 million over the last three years to help the organization provide term loans and lines of credit to micro-enterprises and other small companies not qualified for traditional bank financing.  The program makes capital available to financial intermediary organizations like NJCC that can effectively reach small businesses in local markets. Parlor Gallery is one business that has benefited.
“The Loans to Lenders program helps to extend the State’s reach to underserved communities and businesses,” said EDA CEO Melissa Orsen. “We encourage businesses of all sizes to explore opportunities for support available through the state.”
Parlor Gallery features both emerging and established artists, and strives to foster a welcoming, creative environment where the public can experience exhibits they may not otherwise have access to outside of a large urban setting. Parlor Gallery currently employs two full-time employees and two part-time. The working capital loan was used to support the creation of marketing materials and other operating costs.
“The support EDA and NJCC provided has helped us build our client base and raise awareness of events and exhibits at the gallery,” said Jenn Hampton, Director/Curator, Parlor Gallery. “It’s exciting to see our vision of educating and advising collectors coming to life.
Since 2010, the EDA has provided a total of $5.5 million to five organizations through the Loans to Lenders Program, including NJCC, UCEDC, Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC), Community Business Assistance Corporation (CBAC), and Regional Business Assistance Corporation (RBAC). Of the $3.4 million EDA has disbursed to these entities to date, $1.7 million in loans have gone to support 43 businesses, with an average loan size of just over $41,200. More than 50 percent of the businesses supported are minority- or women-owned.
NJCC is a not-for-profit formed in 1987 to provide innovative financing and technical assistance to organizations that support housing and sustainable community development ventures that increase jobs, improve education and strengthen neighborhoods.  NJCC’s primary mission is to revitalize neighborhoods through flexible financing, technical assistance and consulting services. 
“The EDA’s Loans to Lenders program has enabled NJCC to support more businesses with financing that will help them grow and expand, and create the jobs that are so important to our communities,” said Marie Mascherin, Chief Lending Officer, NJCC.
Other state programs for small business include the Small Business Fund, which provides financial assistance to qualified businesses through direct loans, participations or guarantees, with fixed interest rates.  The EDA also partners with New Jersey’s banking community through its Premier Lender Program, which helps to lower the cost of borrowing for small businesses.  Bond financing is also available for qualified manufacturers and not-for-profit organizations.
The EDA is part of the state’s results-driven Partnership for Action.  Created by Governor Christie and led by Lt. Governor Guadagno, the Partnership is the hub for all economic development activity in New Jersey and is comprised of four interconnected and highly focused organizational elements: Choose New Jersey, the Business Action Center, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the EDA. 
To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at or call the Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789.