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Small business lenders merge

Thu., July 9, 2009

More SNEDA loans likely, chairman says

A neighborhood-focused lender in Spokane is merging with a similar organization in Western Washington.

The Spokane Neighborhood Economic Development Alliance will join forces in August with Community Capital Development in Seattle.

The groups lend money to new business ventures, growing businesses and development partners as a way to improve communities’ local economies.

SNEDA’s staffing won’t change, and it will retain its own identity, said Rob Daugherty, the board chairman.

“SNEDA will be very much like the Eastern Washington component” of Community Capital Development, he said.

Daugherty said the alliance will allow SNEDA to access more funds and reach more clients across Eastern Washington.

Jim Thomas, executive director of CCD, will take over operations of the joint entity. Daugherty said Thomas has been successful in building strong programs and obtaining money to help build its loan fund.

CCD has a fund of about $12 million, with about $10 million allocated to borrowers. SNEDA’s loan total is roughly $1.4 million, with $736,000 allocated to date, said Eric Loewe, its executive director. Those loans have ranged from $3,000, to day care businesses, to as much as $500,000.

Though the organization was launched as a Spokane economic development agency, it has made deals with three Eastern Washington businesses outside Spokane County.

Daugherty said Loewe will remain with SNEDA, focus on new projects and ensure continuity during the merger.

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