Business Expansion Funding Corporation announced as CornerSquare Community Capital’s newest CDFI partner

Press Release

North Carolina, July 30, 2021: Joining a 17-state program increasing investment in local communities, Business Expansion Funding Corporation (BEFCOR) is partnering with CornerSquare Community Capital to make an even greater impact for small businesses in North Carolina. 

BEFCOR has been North Carolina’s top producer of the Small Business Administration’s 504 loan program for nine years in a row. In early 2021, they secured their Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification to allow them to extend additional financial products to small businesses. 

BEFCOR Executive Director, Elaine Fairman, shared the following: “Our partnership with CornerSquare Capital will create more loan dollars for NC’s underserved small businesses.  Building on our success with SBA 504 loans, BEFCOR’s CDFI initiatives will create access to capital for additional businesses who contribute so much to NC’s economy.”  

CornerSquare is partnering to support the success and growth of BEFCOR’s CDFI, by increasing their lending capacity and reducing their risk of loss. A long-standing partner of the NC Rural Center, CornerSquare’s parent organization, BEFCOR closed on 237 small business loans throughout the Rapid Recovery program in 2020, ensuring funding for the small business community as it was hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“BEFCOR has an incredible track record of lending. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with them to leverage this experience and support the growth of their CDFI” said Armeer Ketchen, Executive Director of the Small Business Credit Initiative and CornerSquare Community Capital. “The opportunity to support a mission-driven lender that is focused on helping small businesses in our state sustainably grow is really important to us.” 

CornerSquare Community Capital is a nonprofit fund launched in 2020 by the NC Rural Center to support the CDFI and Minority Depository Institutions (MDI) industry and increase small business lending. The program does this through a unique strategy with long-term impact by reducing the lender’s risk and increasing their available capital through the purchase of (a subordinate position of) up to 25% of eligible loans. Made possible by a partnership with Truist, CornerSquare operates as a network in 17 states, and has a demonstrated track record of serving and supporting the success of small businesses with a particular focus on those owned by women and people of color as well as businesses located in low-income census tracts. 

“We’re committed to building more sustainable and equitable communities,” said John Stokes, community development manager at Truist. “The addition of Business Expansion Funding Corporation as a CornerSquare partner will ensure more entrepreneurs and underserved small business owners have the access to capital they need to serve our communities and help them thrive.”

Media Contact: Meg Buckingham

Director of Communications, NC Rural Center

919.602.4324 (c) | [email protected]