Anne-Marie Saint-John, Alva, Long Island City, NY >
Reigniting Passion, Celebrations, and New Programs
August has been an extraordinary month for three reasons. First, we held our first in-person all-staff gathering since 2019. The group reignited past connections and started new ones. The smiles, laughter, meals, and walks morphed into an animated display of one of our core values: Passion. To quote Anthony Robbins, “passion is the genesis of genius,” and we applied that genius to address present-day challenges. We left energized and ready to tackle the second half of 2022. Second, August allowed an opportunity to celebrate recent achievements. For example, we highlighted Emelyn Stuart, one of our clients, during Black Business Month in an ABC video sponsored by TD Bank. We also celebrated the historic momentum achieved in 2021 by releasing our 2021 Annual Report. Finally, August was special because we launched the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund in partnership with others. The Fund will significantly expand capital access in Connecticut and is our fifth special purpose vehicle (SPV) program since the pandemic’s start. Three cheers for August, with more to come in the fall.
Yours in leading us “This Way Up,”
The Ascendus 2021 Annual Report is Now Available
Our impact in 2021 has transcended any other year in our lending history. We doubled our 2020 lending, and tripled our 2019 lending, allowing more resources to be disbursed in under-resourced communities than ever before in our history. We achieved these record-breaking results because of the financial support of our partners, the dedication of our board members, our hardworking team that launched and delivered federal, state, and local grant-making programs, and our amazing clients.
New Ascendus Product for Connecticut Small Businesses
Ascendus is now offering a loan program for Connecticut Small Business Owners. Supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development, the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund links small businesses and nonprofits to the financial support they need to thrive. The Fund will help facilitate the economic recovery of small businesses and non-profits that may have experienced direct economic hardship because of the pandemic. It will also support future operations and growth. This in turn can alleviate poverty, promote the creation and retention of jobs, combat community deterioration, and can promote the economic revitalization of distressed communities.
Ascendus Holds First In-Person Offsite in Three Years
This month, Ascendus staff gathered in person for the first time in three years to celebrate reconnecting and reigniting our purpose of lifting small business owners towards financial ascension for all. We discussed how to best support our clients, staff, and funders as well as expansion opportunities. To help bolster our mission, Ascendus is hiring for Business Development Officer and Loan Consultant roles in Miami, Atlanta, and Detroit. We will be adding additional roles in our core markets of Miami, Boston, and New York in the upcoming months.
Ascendus Celebrates Black Small Business Owners in ABC Video, Sponsored by TD Bank
August is Black Small Business Month, and to celebrate Ascendus partnered with TD Bank to share the story of Emelyn. In October, we introduced our first ever revolving loan product – a Line of Credit – created for businesses that need flexibility on borrowing and repayment schedules. Emelyn had 80% of the funds available, but due to a lack of credit she couldn’t get the remaining 20% through a bank. She used a Line of Credit loan from Ascendus to complete the funding for the only independent theatre in NY that is owned by a Black or Latino person.
A very special thank you to all our recent sponsors: