The Community Economic Development Fund or CEDF is a mission-driven, nonprofit, Connecticut economic development organization. We provide business loans in disadvantaged communities defined by the state. In other Connecticut municipalities we lend to business borrowers with household incomes below the state median.
We offer Connecticut businesses customized financial solutions
We pride ourselves in providing small business loan prospects with an open-minded, big picture review of their applications unhindered by arbitrary cut-offs for credit score, time in operation or amount of collateral. Our goal is to help structure the most flexible, individualized funding possible.
A Small Business Lender
We lend in a variety of industries. And CEDF is Connecticut’s leading SBA Microlender, offering term loans from a few thousand up to fifty thousand dollars. Through our other sources of loan capital, CEDF also provides larger term loans and lines of credit and owner-occupied commercial mortgages.
An Advisor for Borrowers
Our borrowers are all matched with a CEDF Business Advisor who serves as a coach and relationship manager to help foster business growth and reduce risk of failure. Regular contact with the Business Advisor is a condition of all CEDF borrowing.
Our Business Advisors are seasoned successful former small business owners who provide guidance on best practices in management, marketing, finance and operations. And they coach on leadership, accountability, and handling the emotional aspects of business ownership.
Business education resources
The CEDF Business Education Center offers learning in a variety of formats at WeTeachSuccess.org. Our online programming includes replays of our webinars and seminars, plus free self-paced financial and marketing courses for Launching or Growing Your Business. Our Chalkboard instructional email newsletter and Small Business As Usual podcast series provides convenient ways to stay informed and inspired without requiring large blocks of time.
Continuing our mission
CEDF was founded in 1994 by the Connecticut Legislature. Back then Governor Lowell Weicker. saw an urgent need for flexible and creative approaches because banks were scaling back small business lending activity. Today, CEDF continues the vision of small business formation, job creation and growth for meaningful economic development throughout Connecticut.