Q&A with the Carolina Small Business Development Fund 

July, 2023 - Stephanie U. Eaton

We are fortunate to have connected with Kevin Dick, the President & CEO, and Emily Blevins, Marketing & Communications Director, of the Carolina Small Business Development Fund, at the recent Annual Meeting of the United Minority Contractors of North Carolina. The information that Kevin and Emily shared with us at the meeting sparked an idea for a Q&A we could share with our readers.

Q: What is Carolina Small Business Development Fund (“CSBDF”)?
A: It is a 33-year-old North Carolina not-for-profit corporation and a certified CDFI that is proud to offer financial, technical, and research assistance for stakeholders. CSBDF offers 45 courses through its Digital Learning Academy, in addition to providing assistance in completing loan applications and one-on-one technical assistance. CSBDF partners with for-profit, not-for-profit, and governmental entities to provide these services.

Q: Historically, what has CSBDF done for underserved communities and businesses? 
A: CSBDF has offered 1,209 loans and 1,643 grants totaling $106.2 million. These funds have been provided to minority-owned (67 percent), women-owned (42 percent), veteran-owned (10 percent), and low income (31 percent) companies. In addition, this financial investment has created 4,889 jobs in the state.

Q: How has CSBDF served the construction industry?
A: $3.1 million in loans have gone to construction firms, and many certified MWBEs are often construction firms. In fact, CSBDF will contract with Guilford County, North Carolina, WMBEs to provide technical assistance and a loan guaranty program, and will work with Merriwether & Williams to provide bonding support for small construction-related businesses for the City of Charlotte Contractor Development Program.

Q: What can you tell us about the loan process?
A: Loan approval requirements are based on CSBDF’s Credit Policy, which is less stringent than loan requirements from a commercial bank, such as less emphasis on credit scores and lower debt-service coverage requirements. Also, loans are generally issued within 21 to 90 days, on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Who is eligible for these loans?
A: For-profit businesses in North Carolina who have been operating at least one year, which information the CSBDF verifies.

Q: Can you share with us some of the companies who have benefitted from CSBDF’s services so far?  
A: Sure. We have provided assistance to King of Kings Painting in Buncombe County, R&E Asphalt in Haywood County, and Daily View Pools, LLC, in Mecklenburg County. You can check out the “news” section of our website to learn more about these businesses and other entrepreneurs we serve in North Carolina.  

Q: If our readers are interested in contacting CSBDF about the services it provides and/or to apply for a loan or grant, who should they call?
A: Reginold Jones, Director of Business Solutions: [email protected]

Thank you, Kevin and Emily for sharing this valuable information with us. 


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