Eligible licensed childcare providers can receive up to $20,000 in loans to grow their businesses
NEW YORK, NY – Today, Ascendus announced the launch of its Childcare Initiative, a program that provides Spanish-language outreach and one-on-one counseling to Bronx-based licensed childcare providers, paired with a new loan offering that connects eligible providers with funds in a timely fashion to sustain and grow their business. Made possible with support from Founding Corporate Partner, Citi Community Development, the initiative aims to provide loans and business counseling to 200 eligible childcare providers in the next 12 months.
“This initiative enables Ascendus to better serve low-to-moderate income small business owners. It is certainly a watershed moment for Ascendus and for the communities we serve: the level of simplicity and accessibility of this new lending process is unprecedented,” Paul Quintero, CEO of Ascendus.
In New York City, there are approximately 8,000 licensed childcare providers, with another 35,000 informal and legally exempt providers. In a 2015 study published by The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, it found that the vast majority of New York City child care providers were immigrant women from Spanish-speaking countries, a group that experiences significant challenges in accessing financing.
“Childcare is a vital part of New York City’s economy, providing jobs and offering sustainable childcare that enables parents to participate in the labor force,” said Greg Schiefelbein, New York Tristate Director, Citi Community Development. “By collaborating with Ascendus on the Childcare Initiative, we aim to help ensure that business owners, many of whom are Spanish speaking, access culturally competent guidance and capital they need for their businesses to become more financially resilient.”
Since 2009, Citi Community Development has worked with several leading organizations in New York City to strengthen support for child care providers’ small business and financial management capabilities.
Ascendus’ loan offering was developed based on months of research and human-centered design workshops with licensed childcare providers. The chief findings included a desire for a stress-free, simple process with on-going support to help sustain or grow the childcare business. As a result, Ascendus’ Childcare Initiative will also include specialized newsletters, events and connections to services designed specifically for childcare providers from nonprofit partners across the City.
To apply for a loan, licensed childcare providers can call 1-800-357-1500. If they meet the three year licensing requirement and have a minimum FICO of zero (for those with no credit) or 575 (for those with credit), applicants will be conditionally approved and funded within 48-hours of conditional approval and without any paperwork. This process is dramatically faster than typical processes, which can take more than two weeks to complete.
Childcare is one of several key industries identified as part of Ascendus’ new five-year plan to scale its services to low-to-moderate income business owners across its geographic footprint.
Ascendus is a nonprofit small business lender working to create economic opportunity by providing entrepreneurs with access to the capital and the business support they need to create and grow healthy enterprises and contribute to thriving local economies. Since 1991, Ascendus has provided more than $200 million to 25,000 small businesses owners across the country. For more information, visit www.ascendus.org.
About Citi Community Development
Citi Community Development leads Citi’s commitment to financial inclusion and economic empowerment for underserved individuals, families and communities across the U.S. Through innovative collaborations with municipalities, community groups and leading nonprofit organizations, we harness the institution’s expertise, products and services to help expand opportunity for all.
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