MESSAGE TO NEW JERSEY BANKS FROM EDA CEO CAREN FRANZINI
Dear New Jersey Banker,
Investing in New Jersey’s small, women-owned and minority owned businesses, particularly in the state’s cities, is a major focus of the EDA because it is an essential part of revitalization efforts that result in sustainable, vibrant communities, high-paying jobs and economic growth. Urban areas face particular challenges in attracting investment and the EDA has remained committed to bringing its resources to the market to help stimulate activity. To bolster these efforts, we would like to call to your attention an opportunity that the EDA is making available to banks throughout the state as part of the Christie Administration’s focus on growing small businesses in New Jersey. The goals of this initiative are to help meet business’ commercial credit needs and assist your institution in meeting Community Reinvestment Act requirements by providing alternative investment opportunities.
Through customized investment funds and terms structured to meet the needs of your bank, the EDA can assist with the creation, implementation and execution of urban investment initiatives that are designed to revitalize urban communities, support small, women-owned and minority-owned businesses and drive economic development. Investments can be individual or pooled with other entities for stronger impact in the community and can also be targeted toward certain industries, such as renewable and alternative energy.
With over 35 years of experience providing a total of more than $20 billion in financing assistance, the EDA has a long history and successful track record of partnering with the state’s banking community to support business growth in the state. Further, nearly $200 million in EDA assistance was directed toward stimulating investment in New Jersey’s urban communities in 2009. We annually manage over $500 million in loans, bonds and state financial incentives, and have directly managed co-investments with private entities with an interest in urban projects. Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) and Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) have invested in EDA’s Fund for Community Economic Development, an initiative that combines EDA financing with bank financing to support economic initiatives in urban areas. Since inception, the Fund has provided nearly $20 million in assistance, leveraging $36 million in total public/private investment and creating an estimated 1,250 full-time jobs.
Entities interested in creating a fund to stimulate economic growth within the state’s urban areas can contact Lori Matheus, EDA’s Vice President of Regional Business Development, at 609-292-0170. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity, particularly during these tough economic times when access to capital is needed for small and mid-sized businesses in New Jersey. We look forward to partnering with you and to helping businesses overcome the financial obstacles that can stall their growth and expansion.