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3 Lessons from a PeopleFund Borrower

PeopleFund is a CDFI = Community Development Financial Institution and is a non-profit lender. A CDFIs’ goal is to broaden economic opportunity by providing access to financial services. CDFIs provide a range of financial products, like mortgages for low-income and first-time home buyers and commercial loans for small businesses (PeopleFund). About 1,000 CDFIs are in operation across the country. One of the amazing things about CDFIs is that they offer technical assistance and training programs to small businesses to help them get started and grow sustainably. Some offer mentoring and advisory services (That’s ME!).  We know that learning and growth requires support. To apply for financing, small-business...

5 Things You Need to Know About Accessing Start-up Capital

Looking for funding to start or grow your start-up business? As a Start-up, a business with less than two years of operation, you face unique funding challenges. The good news is that there is a community of resources available to help [Thank you Sparkyard]!  Knowledge is power. By increasing your understanding about how to prepare for accessing capital that power is yours.  I like to think of preparation in terms of those little, stackable children’s toys: Legos.  When new entrepreneurs talk about the ideas they have for a business, those ideas are often scattered, like a box of spilled Legos. The little...

Innovator Spotlight: EJ Carrion of 817 Podcast and Student Success Agency

Innovate Fort Worth podcast featured EJ Carrion, a Texan, an advocate for students, a motivational speaker and an author who saw the potential in Fort Worth and decided to stay. Student Success Agency EJ  was a first-generation college student and got the opportunity to attend college through the Bill Gates Scholarship. He now uses his experiences to support low-income students from over two-hundred schools across the country by providing free tutoring through his organization, the Student Success Agency. “I was the oldest of two and experiencing it myself as a first gen kid really got me passionate. When kids are doing...

How can we help? Survey feedback informs Fort Worth’s business support efforts

Almost two months ago, when this whole COVID-19 situation started getting serious, there was a lot of work to be done – and done quickly.  Fort Worth is the thirteenth largest city in the country – it’s a lot to pivot. The flood of new challenges facing our city’s business owners, across every industry, was overwhelming. The situation was emotionally charged, constantly changing, and completely unprecedented.  The only way that the city and its community partners could begin to wrap our heads around the full scope of COVID-19’s impact on businesses, and start working together to find solutions, was through data. The...

Funding the Fort: Local Support Efforts for Fort Worth Businesses

It’s an interesting time to work in local government.  On the one hand, the current COVID-19 pandemic is impacting everything on a massive scale, from business operations and the local economy to smaller things, like how we work, socialize, and shop for groceries. On the other hand, the stories of the innovative ways that Fort Worth’s businesses have pivoted their operations, come together to support each other, and rallied around the community have been nothing short of inspiring.  But our businesses can’t overcome this alone. And while many business owners might be looking to federal or state government for help, there are...

Frost Bank Presents… Response Act Families First Coronavirus Response Act: What You Need to Know

Over the recent weeks, there have been a number of unprecedented changes in the law beginning with the signing of H.R.6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). There are a many provisions included in the act that affect you as a small business.  If you’re wondering how this may affect your business, this article provides insight on: ·       Emergency paid sick leave ·       Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) expansion  ·       Refundable payroll tax credit Emergency Paid Sick Leave: Emergency paid sick leave and the expanded FMLA are two separate provisions included in the FFCRA. However, they work in tandem and do have similarities. As an example, both...

Frost Bank Presents “Managing Cyber Risk: Remote Working”

Concern about the spread of COVID-19 has generated the largest “work-from-home” mobilization in history. Employees working from home may not have the same safety measures in place to protect their company’s information and devices. With cybercriminals exploiting the current state of uncertainty, employees must remain diligent and aware of potential scams and threats. Human error can be costly. Right now is a prime opportunity to remind your team of appropriate precautions to safeguard your business and employees from unauthorized access which can lead to denial of service attacks, data breaches and theft, ransomware, scams and viruses. Some items to keep in...