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March 22, 2019
CHANGEMAKER: Dan Betancourt, Community First Fund
Q: Why do you think it’s important to invest in people and community around you?
A: Improving economic wealth in underserved neighborhoods has a positive impact on everyone in the community. A healthy, vibrant, and diverse community is one where all individuals have the opportunity to achieve economic security and the dignity to provide for their own family.
Q: What are you passionate about as an organization?
A: Community First Fund has an innovative and visionary mindset that fuels our passion to build healthy communities. We see opportunity where others see blight and despair. We connect with those that can’t obtain traditional financing by providing entrepreneurs with access to business development loans for projects that generate jobs, create affordable housing, and help to revitalize communities. We are driven to make a change by transforming lives, businesses, and communities—one transaction at a time.
Issei Noodle: Andre & Donna Pham, Owners
When looking to launch a new dining venue, Andre & Donna Pham approached Community First Fund. They worked through the application process with a Community First lender to secure financing for new equipment and space renovations. Today, Issei Noodle offers an exciting Asian dining experience for lunch and dinner in Downtown Lancaster.
CNM Auto Repair: Chris Laboy, Owner
Chris Laboy came to Lancaster as a seasoned mechanic with a goal of opening his own business. He successfully applied for a loan from Community First Fund to purchase a vacant property and transform it into an auto repair shop. As his business grew, Community First provided capital for Chris to expand his business by renovating more space and purchasing additional equipment.
Children Deserve A Chance: Jordan Steffy, Founder & CEO
Community First Fund recently provided financing to the Children Deserve A Chance Foundation for working capital to expand their operations to aid in the financial, emotional, and spiritual development of underprivileged and disabled youth. Through its Attollo Prep Program, they work closely with students to develop individualized plans of action with one goal in mind: getting every child into college.
Ric’s Bread: Michele Stauffer, Co-Owner
Michele and Michael Stauffer, owners of Ric’s Bread, are committed to providing their customers with high quality products. Several years ago, they came to Community First Fund to refinance the original loan for their purchase of the bakery. When increased demand for their popular baked goods exceeded the capacity of the Queen Street shop, they returned to Community First Fund for working capital to open a satellite location and purchase additional equipment.