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ECDI's COVID Response: A Lifeline for Small Businesses

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

The organization scaled up to reach 300% of capacity in three months. From April to June, people of color represented 70% of entrepreneurs served and 51% were women.

For decades, ECDI has recognized that sizable populations − minority, female, new American, and low-income − face systemic challenges that decrease their acccess to business capital, creating a financial gap. The COVID crisis exacerbated challenges for disadvantaged populations, widening the gap and making small businesses more vulnerable to failure.

In the best of times, ECDI fills the financial gap to provide opportunity for unbanked or under-banked entrepreneurs. In the months since the COVID pandemic upended nearly every sector of the economy, ECDI worked tirelessly to address this gap and provide

a lifeline for vulnerable businesses, on a greater scale than ever before.

"[ECDI] continues to help us every step of the way. ...It amazes me the work that this small nonprofit does in this community and how dedicated they are to seeing that these small businesses make it to the other side."

-Lisa A. Gutierrez, Owner of Dos Hermanos, authentic Mexican food since 2012

Scaling Up When Small Businesses Need It Most

From April to June, ECDI provided capital to 214 Ohio small businesses, creating or sustaining 563 jobs. Of entrepreneurs served, 70% were people of color and 51% were women. The organization loaned $5.6 million to small businesses in three months, compared to $7-$8 million typicaly loaned in a year.

According to ECDI's Founder and CEO, Inna Kinney, "Our staff happily worked overtime to close three times the number of loans. It really showed me how dedicated our people are, across our organization, to serving our small businesses clients. ECDI has always

stood for social justice through economic opportunity, and it is more evident now than ever."

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