Renaissance Announces Historic Expansion of Small Business Services in New York State and New Jersey

Small business owners in northern New Jersey, as well as Long Island, the Mid-Hudson Valley in New York now have access to low-interest loans and multilingual counseling services 

NEW YORK CITY - Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, one of the nation’s most respected community development financial institutions, announced today its first ever expansion of services beyond New York City.

Renaissance, a trusted provider of affordable small business financing and multilingual counseling services for 27 years, is now extending its programs into northern New Jersey, onto Long Island and the Mid-Hudson Valley, The expansion means that immigrant and low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs and communities throughout the country’s most populous metropolitan area will now benefit from Renaissance’s impactful services.

A key plank in Renaissance's initial expansion into New Jersey will be participation in the NJ Capital Access Fund, a partnership between the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and participating CDFI lenders. The NJ Capital Access Fund provides working capital with fixed interest rates and flexible spending guidelines to small businesses throughout New Jersey, and Renaissance is excited to participate in this much-needed initiative to ensure a prosperous future for the state's small businesses.

Since its founding in 1997, Renaissance has provided 2,500 small business clients with more than $70 million in affordable financing, helping create or preserve 7,000 jobs. The mission driven organization is a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and SBA Lender. Renaissance is grateful to all of the public and private sector funders supporting this new initiative, especially JPMorgan Chase, which stepped forward in the early stages of the expansion to help create a strong foundation for future growth. JPMorgan Chase has made a $300,000 investment over two years to support community outreach, technical assistance and lending in both New York and New Jersey.

Throughout its history, Renaissance repeatedly extended services in communities across New York City as the Asian American population grew and established roots in new neighborhoods. Today, Renaissance serves a remarkably diverse population, offering services in English, Chinese, Korean and Spanish. The expansion unveiled today was prompted by the explosive growth of immigrant and low-to-moderate income communities throughout New York and New Jersey.

“For several years we have been hearing from small business owners beyond New York City about the pressing need for low-interest small business loans and counseling services to fuel their success,” said Renaissance Managing Director Jessie Lee. “Our programs have helped thousands of immigrant and low-income families in the five boroughs forge a path out of poverty, creating sustainable businesses that bring good jobs and economic vitality to their communities. We’re thrilled to be extending our programs to Metro New York and New Jersey, where we know they will help fuel economic empowerment.”

Renaissance is an affiliate of Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), a comprehensive community development organization celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. “We at AAFE are proud of the tremendous positive impact Renaissance has made in New York City,” said AAFE Executive Director Thomas Yu. “AAFE and Renaissance have always grown and adapted as the communities we serve have transformed and grown. So it’s fitting that in this year, as we celebrate a major milestone, Renaissance is once again extending itself to meet evolving needs.”

"Supporting diverse small business owners and increasing their access to market opportunities is a critical step in closing the racial wealth gap and advancing inclusive economic growth for New Yorkers of color,” said Jeanique Druses, Northeast Regional Executive, JPMorgan Chase. “Renaissance EDC is at the forefront of this work and finding innovative solutions to best serve minority entrepreneurs and this investment from JPMorgan Chase enables them to continue driving their mission forward and serving more people across the tri-state area.”

According to a report from the Asian American Federation, the Asian American population in poverty grew 86% in the mid-Hudson Valley during the last decade and grew 23% on Long Island. Data shows that the Asian poverty rate in these areas is growing more quickly than in the New York Metro area overall. In New Jersey, in Bergen County, the Korean immigrant population is now one of the top four largest nationwide. According to the U.S. Census data, eight of ten towns in New York with the highest percentage of Korean residents are in the mid-Hudson Valley or Long Island.

In northern New Jersey, services are available in 13 counties, including in and around Newark, Jersey City, Fort Lee, Edison, Patterson and Elizabeth. On Long Island, Renaissance serves Nassau and Suffolk counties. In the mid-Hudson Valley, counties served include Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester.

In 2023, Renaissance disbursed more than $14 million in small business loans to 180 small businesses. This helped create or retain more than one-thousand jobs across New York City. Immediately following the pandemic in 2020, Renaissance created an emergency lending program that provided more than $2.9 million in affordable financing to over 150 impacted businesses. Renaissance was also approved as a U.S. Small Business Administration PPP lender and provided 182 PPP loans for nearly $3.4 million in capital. More recently, last year, Renaissance was a participating lender in the NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund, providing over $10.4 million in low-interest financing to small businesses in need.

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