Strategic Lending Partners

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strategic lending partners

When looking for money to start or grow your business, it is important to understand your options. Did you know there is more than one way to obtain a loan other than using a bank? In addition to bankers, credit unions, and other financers, we have three strategic lending partners that we work with to help our clients receive the best funding option for their business needs.

Your Connecticut Small Business Development Center’s (CTSBDC) Business Advisor will be happy to explain the options each offer and what makes sense for your needs. In addition, we will help you with the common requirements of any loan application, from getting your financials together to having a complete application package for the loan that is best suited for you and your business.

While we are providing links for you to learn more about each organization, we do recommend you work with one of our advisors to find the best fit, as well as to come prepared when you do reach out to any of these organizations.

Community Economic Development Fund (CEDF)

CEDF was founded in 1994 through a public act of the Connecticut Legislature resulting from an initiative of then-Governor Lowell Weicker. He saw an urgent need for small business lending for the state’s economically depressed and stagnant cities at a time when traditional banking institutions were scaling back lending activity. Today, CEDF continues the vision of small business formation and growth as a catalyst for meaningful economic development throughout Connecticut.

CEDF provides loans to Connecticut small business owners, primarily in low-to-moderate income communities, and to low-to-moderate income business owners who are not able to obtain traditional bank financing. They focus on communities in need of economic development as defined by the State of Connecticut. In other towns, they lend to borrowers meeting family income eligibility.

CEDF lends in a variety of industries. For the fifth year in a row, CEDF has been named Connecticut’s leading SBA Microlender, offering term loans from a few thousand dollars up to $50,000. Through their other resources, CEDF also provides term loans and lines of credit up to $250,000, and owner-occupied commercial real estate loans up to $500,000. They understand that the needs of each business are unique, and they need to be highly flexible and creative to meet those needs. Their goal is to help structure the best funding for a small business.

Community Investment Corporation (CIC)

CIC is an economic development lender contributing financial expertise and practical advice to small business entrepreneurs in Connecticut and Rhode Island who have powerful ideas and need capital to grow them. Borrowers receive guidance through the pivotal steps of creating, expanding, and executing a business plan, which secures the SBA 504, Community Advantage, or MicroLoan. As well as for the Community Advantage and MicroLoans, portfolio clients receive ongoing technical support for the life of the loan.

Loan sizes range from $5,000 to $5,000,000 depending on the use of funds, borrower creditworthiness, and the viability of the business plan.


Since 1975, HEDCO Inc. has helped clients and their communities improve, achieve, and succeed by supporting their growth and progress. They build productive partnerships, create new programs that meet the changing needs of entrepreneurs and increase the funds available to help people build and improve their business and non-profit
organizations. They have the satisfaction of seeing people transform an idea, a dream or a passion into a thriving business.

Their experienced staff members are problem solvers who provide a personal touch and are accessible when you need them. For over 40 years they have offered:

Financial Assistance

  • Providing capital for startup & existing businesses
  • Incubator Space
  • Providing office support and resources for startup businesses – free of charge
  • M/WBE Bonding
  • Ability to provide access to bonding for M/WBE construction firms
  • Professional Consulting
  • One on one consultation

There are many resources for small business owners, and navigating lending can be complex. Your CTSBDC Advisor will be happy to work with you on understanding whether it is best for you to go to the bank, to seek a Small Business Administration (SBA) backed loan, or if you should explore connecting with one of our strategic lending partners based on your specific circumstances. To register for no-cost advising, follow this link.

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