Mendocino County is a wealth of natural resources, economic opportunity, and social capital. We need to harness this wealth for growth and prosperity in our community. It’s that simple. So is EDFC’s mission:
Connecting money and ideas with entrepreneurs to create sustainable prosperity in Lake & Mendocino Counties.
EDFC is a 501(c)3 non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), that has been operating since 1995, with extensive lending history. We believe in building a healthy community that encourages resourcefulness, creativity and abundance for future generations.
We focus on providing gap financing and acting as lender-of-last-resort for small businesses, incubating economic development projects, and coordinating economic development activity for Mendocino County.
EDFC was formed through a unique partnership between Mendocino County’s four incorporated cities and the county to coordinate and support economic development activity Mendocino County-wide. This cooperative effort first began at the Mendocino County Economic Development Summit held in the Spring of 1992. The idea was incorporated as a primary objective in the County Overall Economic Development Plan (OEDP) in June of 1993. The EDFC Steering Committee was formed to begin the organizational development process in the Summer of 1994. EDFC obtained official certification as a CDFI in September 2013 and expanded its business into Lake County in 2014.
Funding is provided through local, state and federal government sources. EDFC has participated in the USDA Rural Development Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) since February 2001. The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program from USDA Rural Development was added in December 2014, which significantly increased the organization’s loan capacity.
In April, 2015, an innovative way for local investors to support the local economy was initiated – a Direct Public Offering of Local Social Impact Notes. The DPO’s initial activity raised $354,000 to help fund a start-up – Mendocino Wool & Fiber Mill business located in Ukiah.
As of December, 2016, EDFC has disbursed 98 loans to ultimate recipients totaling $6,227,237. Over 400 jobs have been created as a result of these programs.
In addition to EDFC’s financing activities, the organization was awarded two grants from the Department of the Treasury totaling $231,678 to study the feasibility of small-scale meat processing for Mendocino County.
EDFC’s 21 member Board of Directors includes 2 Mendocino County Supervisors, a city council member from each of the four incorporated cities in Mendocino County (Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Willits, and Point Arena) and members from the business, banking and non-profit community.