LISC transforms neighborhoods by empowering residents and by investing human and financial resources.
We support community development organizations with grants, loans and expertise to help them construct businesses, community centers and affordable homes in low and moderate income neighborhoods.
Hull Street Road is home to a thriving Hispanic community that has increased drastically in the last 10 years. The community now wants to develop a cultural center and Virginia LISC wants to help them reach that goal.
LISC became involved in the Hull Street Corridor through the Hull Street Revitalization Project, a joint project conducted by Richmond City and Chesterfield County to revitalize the Hull Street community. Virginia LISC partnered with the city and the county to help involve the Latino community in the revival of the area.
Through this partnership, LISC has had the pleasure of working with Wilken Fernandez, a local leader in the Hispanic community. Fernandez, a Cuban native, works as a translator and interpreter at Richmond's Office of Multicultural Affairs, formerly known as the Hispanic Liaison Office. But his specialty is economics, so when the chance came for Fernandez to also get involved with the Economic Development Department, he took it.
"That's how I got involved with the Hull Street Revitalization Project," said Fernandez. "The Economic Development Department needed a grass roots organization in the Hispanic community to give input and support. There were no Hispanic organizations in the area, so I took the lead and started creating one."
As part of the Hull Street Revitalization Project, Fernandez created the Club de Comerciantes de Virginia, or the Virginia Merchant's Club, an association for Latino businessmen in the area.
"I have been creating relationships with different Hispanic businessmen in the area for years, and that's what gave me the confidence to reunite them and bring them together," said Fernandez.
But he did not stop there. Fernandez and the Club de Comerciantes have a new mission--the Kalpulli Project.
The Kalpulli Project is the idea of Fernandez's friend Martin Gonzalez, owner of La Milpa restaurant. Gonzalez's vision was to have a cultural and learning center in the area to help educate and celebrate the community. They have already found the building they want to use, located in the same shopping center as La Milpa restaurant.
Building a cultural center is easier said than done. It takes a lot of time and money to organize people and start the process of turning an old location into a community epicenter.
"We explained to them that there needed to be a nonprofit to lead this project, and the question became how can LISC provide them with the support to get formally organized," said Veronica Fleming, Community Partnerships Manager.
VA LISC is now in the process of finding a consultant for the job.
"We want a consultant who is fluent in Spanish and who also has an extensive background in organizational development," said Fleming.
There are four prospects that LISC is considering and the hope is to have the consultant determined by early October. From there the planning starts in full force.
"The consultant will sit down with the Club Graciantes and will help them draft articles of incorporation, identify board members, develop a strategic plan, raise money, hire staff members and rock'n roll," said Fleming.
Fernandez believes the center is key to helping revitalize the community.
"Most of our people that come here to the U.S. don't have the proper vocation, and they come here for the opportunity," he said. "This center will help educate people in terms of how to succeed and it will help them develop professional and occupational skills."
Virginia LISC to Offer Loans to Richmond Entrepreneurs through LISC/Morgan Stanley Small Business Loan Fund Pilot Program
Richmond, Va. (August 22, 2012) — Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Morgan Stanley have recently announced its low-cost, long-term financing to small businesses in several U.S. cities, including Richmond, through a $10 million pilot program. Virginia LISC will serve the Richmond market and offer loans between $250,000 and $2.5 million to local small businesses.
The LISC/Morgan Stanley Small Business Loan Fund, which uses the advantages of the SBA 504 Program, is a long-term financing tool designed to encourage economic development through several communities by providing small businesses with long-term, fixed rate financing to acquire major fixed assets for expansion or modernization. These can include the purchase of land or existing buildings, parking lots and landscaping, and the renovation or conversion of existing facilities, among other options.
The LISC/Morgan Small Business Loan Fund offers small business owners significant benefits, including:
By operating within neighborhoods and providing jobs for area residents, small businesses help meet two of LISC's Building Sustainable Communities goals: stimulating the local economy and increasing family wealth and income.
"The need to support small businesses to meet the needs of the community has been identified as a concern of residents in Richmond neighborhoods," explains Candice Streett, Virginia LISC Executive Director. "Small businesses help to strengthen and rebuild commercial corridors and serve the needs of existing residents as well as support future residential development. In recent years, small businesses are also responsible for a significant portion of job growth compared to large companies."
To be eligible, small businesses must meet the following requirements:
For further information please contact John Bolton at 804-358-7602 X16 or email@example.com.
Supporting East End Entrepreneur Development