FINANTA was created in 1996, making its first loan in 1997. In 2016, FINANTA will be celebrating 20 years of entrepreneurial expansion, affordable homeownership and community development.
Over the years, FINANTA has continued to economically empower area residents and entrepreneurs through its lending and technical assistance services. It has distinguished itself by delivering services in a way which is acutely conscious of the cultural, social, and language barriers some of our clients encounter. Such service is unique today and defines FINANTA in its mission to helping more socio-economically challenged individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency.
As a 501c3 community lender, we provide access to capital, technical assistance, and credit-building services for low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs and first-time homebuyers in Philadelphia. As of the end of 2015, we have closed more than 1,000 loans totaling $44M. We provide:
– microloans up to $50,000
– small business loans up to $150,000
– economic development loans over $150,000
– lines of credit up to $100,000
– mortgages up to $160,000
– PHFA mortgages for first-time homebuyers up to $417,000
– pre-borrowing programs pairing credit- and capacity-building microloans with individual and group counseling
We are a certified U.S. SBA Microloan Intermediary, U.S. Treasury Community Development Financial Institution, and Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency Homeownership Lender.
Our Community, Our Story
In 1996, a group of community leaders and entrepreneurs in lower Kensington gathered to address a growing concern: a demand for business financing unmet by the local banking industry. A year later, in the heart of the American Street Empowerment Zone, the American Street Financial Services Center was open for business. Offering bilingual services and strongly rooted in the community, the organization made its first loan in 1997 to a local recycling company. Since then, we have remained dedicated to local business growth and development of our community.
Now, as FINANTA, we are proud to operate out of our permanent headquarters at 1301 North Second Street. Our center is a hub for local economic development, business networking, and professional services, offering affordable office space for leasing by small business and non-profits and acting as a business incubator for the local community. Let’s continue to grow together.
Our Commitment to the Community
In 2009 we opened the FINANTA Center, our permanent headquarters located at 1301 North Second St. in Philadelphia’s lower Kensington section. The facility doubles as a business incubator, with 7,000 square feet of affordable office space leased to local small businesses and non-profit organizations. The addition of the incubator has made FINANTA a hub for local economic development, business networking, and professional services. FINANTA has also committed itself to promoting sustainability; in 2011 we partnered with a local solar energy entrepreneur to have a 30 kilowatt rooftop solar array built on the Center’s roof.
Repurposing Real Estate for Local Economic Growth
Chief among the many challenges of growing a small business in an economically distressed community is accessing commercial or mixed-use real estate space at an affordable rate. The FINANTA CDC, or FiCDC, works to rehabilitate acquired real estate in the community to make properties available to local entrepreneurs at affordable rates. The FiCDC both develops its own properties while also supporting the efforts of third-party development partners through a variety of resources.
Working with the local community to identify real estate needs for small business owners, FiCDC undertakes constituent segmentation and high-level concept development to match the needs of entrepreneurs with real estate opportunities in the community.
FiCDC works to acquire real estate via private parties, FINANTA’s loan portfolio foreclosure activities, and purchase or conveyance from local government agencies such as Philadelphia Development Industrial Corporation and Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. FiCDC manages budget development and capital fundraising of real estate projects. Pre-development activities include feasibility studies, zoning reviews, and environmental assessment, along with subcontracting of designers, architects, and engineers. FiCDC oversees the general contractor selection process, ongoing construction management, and post-construction leasing and disposition activities and ongoing property maintenance as necessary.
FiCDC activities bring economic and community development expertise and experience in physical redevelopment projects in and around our lower Kensington community.
Make a Donation
We invite you to join us in our mission to advance economic success throughout Philadelphia’s diverse communities. Please click on the donate button below to make a tax-deductible donation to our 501c3 corporation, or feel free to send your donations directly to our Philadelphia office to the attention of Luis Mora. We thank you for your support!