Anne-Marie Saint-John, Alva, Long Island City, NY >

Ascendus provides over $6mm to 161 small businesses

NEW YORK, NY – July 30th, 2022 – Ascendus collaborated with public and private partners, as well as four other CDFIs, to deliver the New York Forward Loan Fund, a blueprint of capital relief for small businesses. This was the country’s first COVID Relief Special Purpose Vehicle Program to launch, and Ascendus played a pivotal role as a thought leader to get the program off the ground.

Through the program, Ascendus was able to provide $6.1 million to 161 New York small businesses during the pandemic, with an average loan amount of $38,000 – higher than their pre-pandemic average. 63% of the funds were provided to minority or women led businesses.

This success was replicated in the Southeast through the Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund and in the Pacific Northwest through the Small Business Flex Fund. Allocations of the fund began on June 1st, 2020 and were exhausted on November 16th, 2021.  Ascendus will continue to support clients as they navigate loan forgiveness.

“I was struggling, I still had to pay rent when the daycare was closed. The (NYFLF) loan helped me to pay the rent, pay my employees, get new materials for COVID protocols, and new learning materials for the children.” Claudia Gaviria, Creative Little Hands Daycare.

“I paid my mortgage, I paid my debts I had gotten throughout the pandemic, and the (NYFLF) money from Ascendus helped me hire new employees that I could train. Ascendus was just a wonderful company that helped me and that saw the needs in my life and in my company and I will thank them eternally for the opportunity they gave me.” Lia Di Angelo Allan, Westbury Floral Designs.


About Ascendus

Ascendus believes in the bold vision of creating financial ascension for those who have been systemically excluded from financial opportunity. For over 30 years, we’ve provided small business owners – primarily BIPOC, women and immigrants – with the tools to move up, improve their lives, care for their families, and contribute to their communities. We’ve placed almost $300 million into the hands of over 35,000 small businesses through our programs in New York, Massachusetts, Florida and nationally. Our history includes a long track record as an economic first responder in times of disaster, dating back to the September 11th attacks in downtown Manhattan, and continuing through Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Hurricane Irma in 2017, and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. More at

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