Jan 14, 2021



SACRAMENTO (Jan. 14, 2021) – With help from the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank’s (IBank) Small Business Finance Center, more than 1,000 small businesses have now been served with disaster relief loan guarantees, helping them with affordable capital to retool, rebuild and reopen.

The COVID-19 Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program helps mitigate barriers to capital for those small businesses that do not qualify for sufficient federal disaster funds, including businesses in low-wealth and immigrant communities. IBank also provided an anchor commitment to the newly created California Rebuilding Fund, a unique collaboration of public and private organizations that offers loans at a low fixed-rate with flexible terms and leverages IBank guarantees.

IBank Executive Director Scott Wu said the accomplishment of surpassing 1,000 businesses served extends far beyond 1,000 people.

“Small businesses represent people in every community throughout the state and the first 1,000 businesses helped save more than 5,000 jobs,” Wu said. “With the affordable credit, they are saving or creating jobs and pivoting toward business practices that have become necessary because of the health and economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. The California Dream was created and is best preserved through small business and we are proud to be able to help as we all forge a path toward economic recovery.”

One of the businesses served through the California Rebuilding Fund is a Hayward restaurant owned by Alicia Villanueva. The loan has helped her keep her staff employed and able to better serve the community.

Alicia Villanueva started making 100 tamales at night and sold them door-to-door before finally realizing her dream of opening her own restaurant. She did just that and was selling tens of thousands of her tamales and, expecting 2020 to be her most profitable year, had contracts with the likes of Google, Facebook and more before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She lost 95% of her business almost overnight and went back to selling door-to-door with her husband and son in hopes of keeping her staff employed. She secured some microloans and federal funding, but not nearly enough to maintain her staff and pivot operations to stay open.

Alicias“My small business has taken a big hit because of the pandemic, but thanks to the California Rebuilding Fund loan we received through Pacific Community Ventures, we’ve been able to keep our 20 employees on payroll, invest some of the funds back into the business, and reach new clientele,” said Villanueva, owner of Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas in Hayward. “The loan couldn’t have come at a more important time, as it’s enabling us to stay in business and serve our community even better.”

With the support of IBank guarantees and credit enhancements and capital from the California Rebuilding Fund, California’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) are able to lend to far more under-banked small businesses to recover and reposition themselves to survive the realities of the COVID-19 marketplace.

The CDFIs offer a standardized loan product with affordable and flexible terms for small businesses with loan sizes of up to $100,000 and a fixed rate of 4.25%. Small business owners are asked to fill out a short pre-application before they are potentially matched with a community lender. Connect2Capital is hosting applications at www.CALoanFund.org.

IBank partner Financial Development Corporations (FDCs) and other approved partner lenders process all COVID-19 Disaster Relief Loan Guarantees. Small businesses can find lenders at https://ibank.ca.gov/small-business/participating-lenders.


About the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank
IBank was created in 1994 to finance public infrastructure and private development that promote a healthy climate for jobs, contribute to a strong economy and improve the quality of life in California communities. IBank is located within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and is governed by a five-member Board of Directors. IBank has broad authority to issue tax-exempt and taxable revenue bonds, provide financing to public agencies, provide credit enhancements, acquire or lease facilities, leverage State and Federal funds and provide loan guarantees and other credit enhancements to small businesses. Find more information on our website.

Gabrielle Stevenson
Public Information Officer
Email Gabrielle, HERE
Phone: (916) 201-4093