We are pleased to announce our latest Program-Related Investment in Pacific Community Ventures (PCV). Our $600,000 PRI loan will contribute to PCV’s small business loan pool, with a focus on growing micro-loan activity ($10,000 to $50,000) in Contra Costa and Alameda counties. The PRI will enable PCV to make at least 12 additional micro-loans, supporting approximately 100 low-to-moderate income employees.
Pacific Community Ventures is a nonprofit CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) based in San Francisco that has been serving the small business community for nearly 20 years and has a robust advising program. By helping businesses create jobs and lending to businesses owned by women and people of color, PCV’s work is closely aligned with two of the foundation’s equity strategies: Place and Power.
PCV was founded in 1988 by a pair of venture capitalists, whose goal was to pair entrepreneurs with capital and expert business advising—bringing the tools that had empowered tech companies to brick-and-mortar “Main Street” businesses. Eventually, PCV launched its “Loan + Advice” small business lending program and became a CDFI in 2013. Based on market need and demand, in 2016 PCV lowered its loan minimum to $10,000 and began offering micro-loans.
Loans range from $10,000 to $200,000, and PCV integrate business advice throughout the term of the loan to ensure borrowers’ long-term success. The small business owners are beyond the start-up phase, but do not have sufficient track records to qualify for a bank loan. PCV matches small business owners with pro-bono expert business advisors who provide tailored, hands-on assistance ranging from finance, marketing, legal to human resources and IT. The entrepreneurs they assist typically own or operate brick-and-mortar businesses that have the potential to create new jobs for working people in their local communities.
Most of their borrowers are located in San Francisco, Contra Costa and Alameda counties. PCV’s micro-loads range in size from $10,000 to $200,000. To meet PCV’s CDFI certification, 60% of their loans must be in low- and moderate-income census tracts or to low-income business owners. PCV projects that 55% of their new loans will be to businesses owned by women and 50% by people of color.
One example of PCV’s work in the community is its partnership with Kainbigan restaurant in Oakland. Kainbigan is a minority-owned, female-owned Filipino restaurant and catering company in the heart of Oakland. Last December, Chef Charleen Caabay won the Food Network’s televised cooking competition, Chopped! Kainbigan’s success suddenly made their space seem cramped, so they needed additional kitchen space, catering equipment and a van. Without any family wealth to rely on, Caabay drained her own personal savings to build Kainbigan, and then turned to PCV for a much-needed loan to enable growth. Not yet bankable, they had also become overwhelmed by a high-interest loan from an online lender—and turned to PCV’s nonprofit small business lending program to find a way out. As a result, Kainbigan hired two full-time cooks, expanded their catering, and is exploring the opening of a second location in Oakland.
In partnership with our donors, we are proud to support PCV with this important and timely investment. Learn more about our Program-Related Investment Fund and our current portfolio of loans at sff.org/pri.