About Us

To Our Community of Stakeholders,

For the second year in a row, Common Capital’s team produced a record amount of loans to small businesses located in Western Massachusetts: we loaned over $2.8 million to 31 entrepreneurs, a 28% increase over the prior year. Sixty-eight percent of our new borrowers are woman-owned businesses and 48% are owned by People of Color.

As of the end of our fiscal year (“FY”) on June 30, 2023, our loan portfolio totaled $7.7 million — another new record for our organization and an increase of 31% compared to a year earlier.  Common Capital’s Business Assistance program was busy setting records, too: our team of paid consultants and our staff members delivered more than 4,200 hours of training and education to nearly 400 borrowers and prospective borrowers — at no cost to those small business owners. Our Business Assistance activities focus on helping entrepreneurs create and use financial statements, produce effective marketing, and manage their human resources, among other things, all of which supports their businesses’ growth and financial sustainability.

The common thread among the businesses we serve is their inability to access capital from mainstream financial institutions. This reflects the economic status of many of our borrowers: 70% of our lending in FY 2023 was to businesses owned by people with low-to-moderate income and/or businesses located in low-to-moderate income census tracts.

As of June 30, 2023, Common Capital’s loan portfolio totaled $7.7 million, including loans to:

  • Businesses owned by people with low-to-moderate-income: 47%
  • Businesses located in low-to-moderate income census tracts: 57%
  • Businesses owned by People of Color: 54%
  • Businesses owned by Women: 54%
  • Startup businesses: 54%

Since our founding in 1990, Common Capital has made loans totaling $32.7 million to more than 800 businesses, which helped create or retain over to 2,000 jobs.

Income status frequently correlates with a lack of assets available to pledge as collateral and sometimes leads to imperfect credit histories; Common Capital addresses these challenges with flexibility that banks don’t have. Another typical barrier our borrowers face is their time in business: in FY 2023, more than half of our lending supported startup businesses. When banks say “no” to these businesses, Common Capital seeks the path to “yes” because that is the path to economic vitality and growth in Western Massachusetts.

The Future is Bright

Common Capital recognizes that there are many more small businesses in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties that need hard-to-access capital. So, we continue to focus our organization on growth: we expanded our staff in FY2023 and have continued increasing our staff capacity in the current year. 

Our team of eight professionals is hard at work supporting local entrepreneurs. We are committed to producing more loans because that translates into more new businesses, new jobs, and increased economic activity and vitality in our communities.  Our successes are a result of your support.  Whether you are an investor or a referral source, a donor or a consultant, a volunteer or a vendor, your commitment to entrepreneurship is reflected in your support of our activities and in the growth and success of our borrowers. Thank you for helping Common Capital continue its work and for increasing the prosperity of our neighbors and neighborhoods.

Raymond Lanza-Weil, President

(413) 222-6635

Raymond Lanza-Weil

Callie Niezgoda Flanagan
Director of Lending

Roberto Nieves
Director of Outreach and Communications

Emil Farjo
Business Assistance Manager

Kimberly Gaughan
Loan Fund Manager

Jay Kozak
Loan Officer

Eliz Cuevas
Loan Officer

Jordan Rakauskas
Loan Officer

Click below to view our audited financial statements: