Message from the CEO
Dear friends and supporters:
Many economists have suggested that if California were considered separately, it would rank as the sixth largest economy in the world behind the rest of the states, China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that California’s GDP was $2.5 trillion in 2015, up 4.1 percent from a year earlier. The latter statistical data proves California to be a robust state and an ideal business economy with just the right climate to start or expand a small business enterprise or venture. In particular, such an environment offers the unfettered ability to locate financial resources imbedded within our communities providing access to capital opportunities albeit on a direct or indirect basis.
Small Business Development Corporation of Orange County continues to experience growth and favorable operating trends during fiscal year 2016-2017. Our growth is due in large part to our valued partnership collaborations and proven ability to leverage public funds to support California’s vast network of institutional small business lenders and their lending efforts. Such endeavors are aimed at deploying mainstream capital and investment among business owners, entrepreneurs and more increasingly, not-for-profit public benefit organizations. This activity has resulted in a strong production year with $37.4 million leveraged in state and federal trust funds which have supported $50.2 million in bank and non-bank loans to small business owners ultimately resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs statewide.
Going forward, we continue to explore new initiatives and absorb organizational growth including the addition of new staff resulting from a recent portfolio merger with that of the former Hancock Financial Development Corporation. Located in downtown Los Angeles, the corporation possessed long-time historical roots among the Korea Town and Asian banking communities, the latter of which has contributed to our expansion of resources, namely the successful deployment of credit capital among communities of greater need. These program successes are the primer and catalyst contributing to our Board of Directors inaugural initiative providing grant investments to local non-profit institutions in our local sphere of influence. This particular initiative is unprecedented in the corporation’s 15-year history.
We sincerely thank our Board of Directors for their guidance and leadership as well as our many invaluable resource partners and regional collaborations. All have contributed significantly to another successful year for the Small Business Development Corporation of Orange County.
Looking forward to our program expansion and additional services in the coming New Year.
Michael A. Ocasio
President & CEO