The City of Long Beach has officially launched Kiva Long Beach. Through the Kiva Long Beach initiative, Long Beach entrepreneurs can now access no-fee loans to start or grow their business, and residents can help local small businesses with loans as small as $25. With a dollar-for-dollar loan match provided by the Los Angeles Local Initiatives Corporation (LA LISC), Kiva Long Beach borrowers can accomplish their fundraising goal quickly. Kiva loans service business owners who may not be able to afford loans with high interest rates, or are unable to access traditional commercial loans.
“The City is undergoing an economic resurgence and now is the time to ensure that this economic growth is equitable and reaches into every Long Beach neighborhood,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Access to capital for small and diverse businesses is essential for creating local jobs and inclusive development within our local communities.”
As of today, the first official Kiva Long Beach campaign has been fully funded. Tromaine Ellis, known to many as the LBC Photographer for his photography work in Long Beach, successfully raised a loan of $5,000 to help upgrade his photography and video equipment. Ellis is supported by the World-Famous VIP Business & Creative Media Incubator (VIP). Tromaine will run his business from VIP’s incubator, which is slated to open in late June 2018.
“Last year we launched the, ‘Everyone In’ Economic Inclusion Initiative, which is designed to create a local economy that includes and benefits every Long Beach resident,” said Vice Mayor Rex Richardson. “Kiva Long Beach is a step towards that economic inclusion by creating an environment where small businesses have an opportunity to thrive.”
On November 7, 2017, the City Council directed the Economic Development Commission to conduct a deeper assessment of Economic Inclusion in Long Beach by implementing the "Everyone In” Economic Inclusion Initiative, including the introduction of the Kiva micro-lending program to the City of Long Beach. The Kiva program was funded by a grant from the Long Beach Community Foundation to the LA LISC to provide the technical support to establish the program in the city. Also, included in the recommendation were the recently completed “Everyone In Listening Tour” and report, Youth Banking and Financial Literacy, Equity Profile, and the recent “Equity Summit,” which took place on May 17, at the Long Beach Convention Center.
“We are delighted to initiate Kiva in Long Beach through our Knight Donor Advised fund that works to make meaningful impact around economic opportunity, harnessing talent and civic engagement. We’re looking forward to seeing this program support residents to grow their business in Long Beach,” said Marcelle Epley, President and CEO of the Long Beach Community Foundation.
The City currently has ten established Kiva Trustees that identify entrepreneurs who may benefit from a Kiva loan and help support borrowers in launching and funding successful loan campaigns.
Kiva Long Beach originated with a Council item brought forth by Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, and supported by Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, Councilwoman Stacy Mungo and Councilman Dee Andrews.
- ABC Black Foundation.
- Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association.
- California State University, Long Beach Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
- Downtown Long Beach Alliance.
- United Cambodian Community.
- Valley Economic Development Center.
- World Famous VIP Business and Media Incubator.
- The Zaferia Business Association.
Establishing Kiva in the City of Long Beach was made possible by the Long Beach Community Foundation who provided the initial grant to fund LA LISC.
For more information and to search for borrowers in Long Beach, the community can visit Kiva.org.
About Economic Development
The mission of the City’s Economic Development Department is to create economic opportunities for workers, investors, and entrepreneurs. This includes making it easier to start and grow a business, streamline the process for property development, and provide businesses with a skilled workforce. The Department includes Property Development, Business Development, and the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network. For more information on the Economic & Property Development Department, please visit http://www.longbeach.gov/economicdevelopment/ or follow us on Twitter @LBEconDev and Facebook.
LA LISC is one of 31 offices of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a national non-profit organization supporting community development in cities and rural areas throughout the country. LA LISC serves as an intermediary, building bridges between our local non-profit partners and the resources they need to transform underserved neighborhoods into thriving communities of opportunity and choice. We receive our funding from banks, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. We partner with community organizations, private developers, local government and schools to invest those funds in affordable housing, economic development, health and recreation, capacity building, and strategic planning efforts. This comprehensive approach builds more resilient communities throughout Los Angeles.
Long Beach Community Foundation
The Long Beach Community Foundation was originally founded in 1996 as the Greater Long Beach Foundation in collaboration with the Estate Planning & Trust Council of Long Beach, local community leaders, and the California Community Foundation. The Long Beach Community Foundation initiates positive change for Long Beach through charitable giving, stewardship and strategic grant-making. The focus of foundation is to encourage charitable giving, help individuals and families manage their philanthropic giving, establish endowment funds to benefit local nonprofits, and make strategic grants to Long Beach nonprofits.