• Charlotte Community Capital Fund asks city to continue operation

    By: Tenikka Smith


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Brazz Carvery is now in its third year of serving lunch and dinner crowds in uptown Charlotte.

    Owner Miital Niak said it was a challenge getting money to get his dream off the ground.

    "We had approached a couple of the local banks and they told us they wouldn't consider a restaurant for financing," Naik said.

    His research led him to Self-Help, a nonprofit community development lender that administers the Charlotte Community Capital Fund.

    The fund was created back in 2003, and at that time it pooled together nearly $2 million from various investors to provide loans to small businesses.

    In the last 10 years, it has given out more than 100 loans totaling more than $5 million.

    More than half were awarded to women- and minority-owned businesses and start-ups, many of whom didn't qualify for traditional bank loans.

    "Over a 10-year period during the worst recession we've had since the1930s we've only had 14 defaults,” said fund operating committee chairman Tom Davis.

    It is a rate of about 1.4 percent and not far off from the default rate commercial banks normally find acceptable.  The Charlotte Community Capital Fund has now reached the end of its initial 10-year term and is asking the city for approval to continue to help businesses blossom for another decade.

    "Without it we wouldn’t have been able to open,” Naik said.

    Dale Harold is the senior lending officer at Self-Help. 

    "Many times people have all they need to succeed.  They just need a little bit of help along the way," he said.

    Loans range from $5,000 to $200,000. The average loan is $47,000.

    For more information on the Community Capital Fund, click here.

    For more information on Self Help Credit Union, click here.

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