To our Stakeholders,
When Common Capital’s fiscal year started in July 2019, no one imagined that a pandemic would become a dominant force in our lives — or that it would last so long! COVID-19 has been a big part of our lives for the last two years, but I am happy to report that Common Capital’s borrowers met the challenges head-on and have largely succeeded in growing their businesses and adapting to the new economy. To date, only one of our borrowers has closed its doors due to the pandemic.
In 2020, Common Capital renewed its commitment to increasing economic opportunities for all businesses by expanding its outreach and lending activities to include more businesses owned by people of color and immigrants. While we have always strived to serve diverse populations, we realized that Common Capital needed to be more intentional in these efforts. Our mission statement is now explicit about this, and we are working daily to help small business owners overcome the obstacles created by structural racism, sexism, and classism.
From July 2019 – June 2021, Common Capital made loans totaling $2,500,000 to 55 small businesses in Western Massachusetts.
• 30 Businesses Owned by People with Low-to-Moderate Income
• 28 Businesses Owned by Women
• 16 Businesses Owned by People of Color
• 22 Start-Up Businesses
Common Capital’s loans helped these entrepreneurs preserve and create 229 local jobs. Since Chris Sikes founded Common Capital in 1990, we’ve made loans totaling $27.5million to more than 700 businesses, which helped create or retain nearly 2,000 jobs. We are honored that 85 individual investors trust us with over $1 million of their savings that they have invested in our Community First Fund.
We use these investments to fund our loans to small businesses. Similarly, we are grateful to the U.S Treasury’s CDFI Fund and to Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which granted Common Capital a combined $2.2 million for loan capital in 2021.
We extend our thanks to the foundations, banks, other corporations, and government agencies that have contributed money to support Common Capital’s operations; their names are listed later in this report. We cannot do this work without the support of our investors and donors.
We are in the process of expanding our team and our lending activity to fill the unmet capital needs of small businesses in Western Massachusetts. We’re focused on developing new strategies to help low- and moderate-income people, people of color, women, and immigrants increase their incomes, their financial stability, and their economic mobility; to help communities thrive economically, and to increase small businesses’ capacity to create jobs and contribute to a thriving regional economy.
I hope you’ll join us in these efforts.
Raymond Lanza-Weil, President
From left to right,
Raymond Lanza-Weil– President
Kimberly Gaughan– Loan Fund Manager
Callie Niezgoda– Director of Lending
Mychael Williams- Loan Officer
Emil Farjo– Business Assistance Coordinator
Jay Kozak– Credit Analyst and Data Coordinator
Roberto Nieves– Director of Outreach and Communications