Thursday, February 24, 2011

Union Tribune Recognizes ACCION as Active Lender and Business Resource

Baby one piece from Barley&Birch

ACCION San Diego celebrates $15 million in micro-loans

Monday, February 21, 2011 at 9:49 a.m.

ACCION San Diego, a local micro-lending organization that provides financing and free educational resources to small businesses, announced that it has issued $15 million in loans to San Diego County business owners since it was established in 1994.

The nonprofit organization has grown steadily over the past 17 years, and saw a surge in demand during the recession for its loans, which range from $300 to $35,000 and are issued to business owners who lack access to traditional financing.

The 1,500 local businesses that have received ACCION loans include:
  • Amber Rodgers and partner Kelly Skoglund, owners of Kidsville Playtown, used a $25,000 loan to move their business from Poway to a larger location in Carlsbad. It's an activity center for children and their parents, built to resemble a miniature city. It offers scheduled activities such as story time, puppet shows, music and and learning labs.
  • Matt Fowler, owner of Music Generations in Pacific Beach, established his business in 2006 with a $10,000 ACCION loan and recently secured additional financing to remodel and expand. The store offers music lessons including guitar, bass, piano and voice; and houses a professional recording studio.
  • Kyle Smitley established an organic children's clothing line, barley & birch, in Oceanside with a $10,000 loan she received from ACCION in December 2008. Her business revenue is now in the six figures and she was featured by Inc. Magazine in 2009 as one of the "30 under 30" most promising young entrepreneurs.
“With unemployment at an all-time high in San Diego County and credit limits tightened from traditional financing sources, ACCION responds to an urgent and critical need for flexible opportunities to access capital,” said Elizabeth Makee, executive director of ACCION San Diego.

“Local entrepreneurs that we work with are able to start or build their business, obtain free education, contribute to their local economy and provide employment for others, which in turn helps growth in the job market,” Makee said.

The number of loan inquiries is up, along with the average loan size, she said.
For more information on ACCION’s small business loans, visit Small business resources can also be found at

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