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New advisory committee ensures money flows to San Diego small businesses & nonprofits

by | Feb 17, 2022 | News

It’s not often that a diverse group of business owners and community leaders are asked by investors to help connect community to capital. And yet that is exactly what the Advance Advisory Committee (AAC) is intended to do at Mission Driven Finance (MDF), a San Diego-based impact investing firm uplifting small businesses and nonprofits.

Ten members—comprising business and community champions with breadth and depth of knowledge of San Diego’s economic development landscape—will collaborate with Mission Driven Finance to get capital flowing more equitably to small businesses and nonprofits that may have been overlooked by traditional finance.

“The Advance Advisory Committee brings together economic development minds from across industries, organizations, and backgrounds to highlight different perspectives that will create better outcomes,” says Christie Marcella, COO of Connect. “I’m so excited to be part of a group that will bring collective thinking, experiences, and expertise to change the way businesses get funded so that access to capital becomes a milestone of inclusion instead of exclusion.”

“I am thrilled to see the creation of the Advance Advisory Committee,” says Alexis Villanueva of City Heights Community Development. “For far too long, communities have been economically redlined and oppressed. The opportunity to be intentional about lending to those same communities is a game-changer and the start of knocking down the foundational structures that oppress so many.”

With the strategic support of the AAC, Mission Driven Finance is actively identifying and connecting small businesses, social enterprises, and nonprofits that uplift overlooked communities and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) with the capital to scale and grow.

Small businesses like Havana Grill have benefited from funding from Advance Strategy, the flagship place-based investment pool at Mission Driven Finance. Havana Grill is expanding to a second location at Westfield Mission Valley, converting a former retail space into a vibrant restaurant. With this expansion, Havana Grill plans to hire 50 additional people in quality jobs, up from the current 32 at their first location in the Clairemont area of San Diego.

Verity Packaging is another small business funded by Mission Driven Finance—not once, but twice. With this funding, Verity can scale its capacity and operations to meet the demand of increased sales, in the middle of COVID19, from environmentally conscious consumers.

As of the end of 2021, Mission Driven Finance has deployed $25M to communities throughout the country, of which $8.9M flowed to small businesses and nonprofits in or serving San Diego County through the Advance Strategy. Capital from Advance goes to small businesses and nonprofits that may have outgrown microfinance but can’t get sufficient, affordable bank financing.

Typical loan sizes are $100,000–$500,000, helping small businesses and nonprofits to grow and to hire locally, from which the entire community reaps the benefits.

Learn more about Advance and how it may help you with your small business or nonprofit.

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