Small businesses seeking certain types of funding—like 504 loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)—are required to work with a Certified Development Company (CDC) in order to navigate the funding process. Here at Growth Capital, we’ve been doing this work for over 40 years in Northeast Ohio, but we know that we’re not the only option—and sometimes not the right option—for every small business. We believe that knowledge is power, and knowing what CDCs do and how to find one that is a good fit for your business’s needs is important to us.
What is a Certified Development Company (CDC)?
Strictly from a definition standpoint, Certified Development Companies (CDCs) are non-profit entities created to foster and support economic development in struggling communities by providing assistance with federal loan programs. In reality, though, CDCs are much more than that. They serve communities in a number of ways by providing services and resources to small businesses and organizations looking to promote business growth, educational opportunities, community development, and more. Historically, we have CDCs to thank for helping with neighborhood revitalization projects, affordable housing initiatives, small business development, workforce growth, and more in many of America’s struggling areas. Simply put, CDCs help empower communities to grow and thrive beyond their current challenges.
From a small business perspective, CDCs are partners—allies, even. They exist to help small businesses navigate the often-laborious process of securing funding for growth and development.
Finding a CDC to Fit Your Business’s Needs
When it comes to partnering with a CDC, there is no shortage of options—a simple zip code search using the SBA’s local assistance database will tell you that. Beyond simply looking up a CDC near you, we believe that you should find one that’s right for you. There’s no real trick to this, just some reflection on your business and what you’re looking for from a financing partner.
- What kind of businesses does the CDC you’re considering typically work with? Working with a CDC who has experience in your industry and geographic region is beneficial because they are more likely to better understand your wants, needs, and potential challenges.
- What kind of experience does the CDC you’re considering bring to the table? We don’t only measure experience in years—we measure it in successful partnerships. When considering a CDC to partner with, investigate their success in obtaining funding for clients similar to you and your business.
- What are people saying about the CDC you’re considering? Word of mouth is a powerful tool when choosing to partner with a CDC! Because CDCs work with small businesses so closely, you want to be sure that the team you’ll be working with meshes with you and your team. Client testimonials and available business ratings are a strong indicator of the experience you’ll have!
Working with Growth Capital
If your business is in the market to partner with a CDC, we’d love to see if we’re a good fit for your needs. Since 1982 we’ve been working with small businesses in Ohio to grow and revitalize communities with varying levels of need. Our experienced staff brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and care to every partnership we enter—we’re serious about helping small businesses succeed. Contact us to learn more about all the ways we can help you and your small business thrive!