ECDI: Investing in Small Business Success

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ECDI: Investing in Small Business Success

Access to capital can be problematic not only for aspiring start-ups but also for established businesses looking to improve or expand. Ohio small business owners are fortunate to have access to an incredible resource in the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI), a small business educator and statewide SBA lender that expanded its services to Cleveland in 2012.

With loans ranging from $500 up to $350,000, ECDI is a top-ranked micro-lender whose mission is to invest in people and businesses. The Cuyahoga Land Bank proudly participates in ECDI’s Invest Local Ohio program, which provides organizations the opportunity to invest in small businesses in our community, leveraged with at least two more dollars from 31 existing ECDI loan funds.  The Cuyahoga Land Bank receives a three-percent return on its investment on a three-year note.

“Our investment with ECDI is an investment in small business and the region,” says Dennis Roberts, Director of Programs and Property Management for the Cuyahoga Land Bank, who also serves on ECDI’s Loan Review Committee.

Beeman Brass Works is just one local business that has taken advantage of a micro-loan through ECDI.  Everett Beeman, who started an instrument repair shop focused on brass and woodwinds out of his basement, turned to ECDI when he was presented the opportunity to purchase an established instrument repair business, its assets and customer base.

“It would have taken me at least 30 years to acquire that many tools, equipment; that’s why I initially approached ECDI,” says Beeman. Considering he had recently bought a house and was not in an ideal position for a traditional bank loan, Everett’s bank and client referral partner, Huntington National Bank, referred him to ECDI.

Beeman Brass Works (now doing business as Borodi Refinishing, LLC), located in South Euclid, assists thousands of customers per year, including school districts and colleges across the country. Beeman Brass Works is one of the only repair shops in the country capable of overhauling large brass instruments and now employs three part-time contractors, in addition to the four independent contractors he retained from the purchased business.

“Beeman Brass Works is a perfect example of the impact ECDI’s Invest Local Ohio program can have on the community,” says Roberts. Access to capital allowed this entrepreneur to grow and expand his business, hire additional employees and put more dollars into the local economy.”

“Invest Local Ohio is fortunate to have organizations like the Cuyahoga Land Bank willing to invest in our mission to ensure small business growth and success,” says Bryan Edwards, Relationship Manager for ECDI’s Akron division.