And can the pool of funds be raised above $5 million to provide more opportunity? “Without the renewal of the bank pool, a very successful public-private partnership will come to an end,” said Shelly Gross-Wade , president and CEO of FSC First, the nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that runs the program. The current agreement with the banks expires at the end of the year, but the lenders are required to notify FSC First by June 30 as to whether they intend to renew or drop out of the program. Gross-Wade would like to have pledges in place by the end of March. She’s also aiming for 10-year commitments instead of the standard five-year deals. Bank contributions to the fund allow FSC First to make direct loans ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 to “pre-bankable” and quick-growing companies that have demonstrated the ability to repay and secure the loan, Gross-Wade said. About 20 loans totaling $2.5 million are currently on the street, with another $1.7 million in the pipeline are expected to close by the end of the first quarter, she said.
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