LISC Closes a First-Of-Its-Kind Loan to a Minority-Led Small Business Lender
Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, Steve Hall, Kate Novotny-Angeles, and Emma Kloppenburg toured the Lendistry offices and met with Everett (CEO), Leean Lynch (COO), and Lynn Fernandez (CCO) at the Lendistry offices.
Since winning a Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital (DCC) grant in 2018, LISC LA has been working with five minority-led community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and mission-based lenders in Los Angeles. Trusted partners in their communities, these lenders play a key role in creating a more robust and accessible entrepreneurial ecosystem by lending to minority- and women-owned small businesses and providing employment opportunities to community residents. LISC LA is drawing on DCC funds to build the capacity of these institutions by delivering business development expertise and flexible loan capital.
Lendistry is one of these local minority-led lenders. At the end of 2019, LISC closed a loan to Lendistry to augment its ability to lend to diverse small businesses across Los Angeles. This is a first-of-its kind loan for the LISC LA office and marks a pivotal development in the relationship between two minority-led CDFIs. LISC LA is proud that this loan will not only enhance the balance sheet of a minority-led CDFI, but also will allow for more capital to be channeled to diverse small business owners.
One of the few African-American led CDFIs in the country, Lendistry has a diverse staff, inclusive company culture, and a socially conscious agenda that aims to develop small business owners’ business acumen through education and technical assistance. Lendistry targets small businesses that lack access to traditional bank services due to revenue size, credit score of principals, time in business or a host of other reasons that make it difficult to secure financing. Lendistry focuses on minority-led and women-led businesses in the fields of healthcare, home improvement, professional services, and restaurants. As it continues to grow, Lendistry seeks to expand its portfolio to invest in charter schools, commercial real estate, daycare centers, housing, healthcare facilities, infrastructure projects, and nonprofits.
The institution is built on a strong foundation of expertise. Everett K. Sands, Lendistry’s founder and current CEO, spent close to 10 years in leadership roles in banking and over 20 years in lending, largely in loan origination and sales. Mr. Sands brought on a highly capable executive management team that together has over 200 years of lending experience.
The collaboration between LISC and Lendistry is an example of how two CDFIs are combining their strengths for the greater good of the small business lending community. Lendistry will utilize this loan capital to help women and minority business enterprises (WMBE & MBE) in Los Angeles create more jobs, expand their operations, and improve their cash flow.
Accessing low-cost, non-predatory capital is a significant hurdle for most minority-led small businesses. According to a report by Morgan Stanley, investments in WMBEs are 80% lower than the median investment in businesses overall. Many of these businesses turn to online lenders, whose interest rates can be 100% or higher. LISC wants to help close this capital gap by collaborating with lenders already working and operating in these markets, and therefore know and understand these businesses’ needs well.
LISC is proud to support innovative, minority-led CDFIs such as Lendistry to help solve this funding issue and to promote equity and economic inclusion in underserved neighborhoods across Los Angeles County.