History of VSBDC

VSBDC was incorporated in 1981 as a nonprofit, public benefit, small business development corporation under section 14000 of the California Corporations Code. As such, we are licensed to make direct loans to farmers and small businesses in our Service Area, as well as to guarantee small business loans to participating financial institutions throughout the state of California. Valley’s mission is to provide small businesses and family farms with increased access to capital through innovative direct and guarantee financing mechanisms. To further insure the successful completion of this mission, Valley collaborates with a wide variety of public and private financing institutions. Valley focuses all of our activities on the Service Area, which includes the following nine Counties in the Central San Joaquin Valley:

  • Fresno
  • Kern
  • Kings
  • Madera
  • Mariposa
  • Merced
  • Stanislaus
  • Tulare
  • Tuolumne
  • However, with the Federal Loan Guarantee Program, we have the ability to provide loan guarantees to borrowers with a participating lender anywhere in the state of California.

    Financing Activities:

    Valley has conducted a variety of financing related activities over the past thirty-four years that focus on providing significant community and economic development benefits to the residents, family farmers, small businesses, Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities, “Champion Communities”, “Renewal Communities”, and Enterprise Zones within our Service Area. These include the following financing programs and products:

    • State Small Business Credit Initiative (“SSBCI”) Loan Guarantee Program
    • Direct Farm Loan Program
    • USDA-Rural Development Intermediary Relending Program
    • USDA Business & Industry Loan Program
    • SBA Microloan IRP Program
    • SBA Community Advantage Program
    • Wells Fargo Bank Small Business/Farm Loan Program

    Valley is one of only nine Financial Development Corporations (FDC’s) with which the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank contracts for the administration of state small business financing programs. Valley is one of the few FDC’s that have succeeded in providing non-conventional, community development financing in a substantially rural area.

    Development Services:

    Valley also provides a full range of development services for the small business community and immigrant family farmers. These services include comprehensive business consultation and technical assistance, loan packaging, financial literacy education, and referrals to other appropriate service providers. Valley receives technical assistance grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Wells Fargo Foundation, Comerica, and Union Bank to deliver services to the small business community and immigrant family farmers. Valley also has a successful collaborative with Co-Bank, Farm Credit West, Fresno Madera Farm Credit, and Golden State Farm Credit to provide technical assistance to rural communities in the Kings, Tulare, Kern, Fresno, and Madera counties. Outreach is accomplished through the use of a Dodge Pro-master van that has been retrofitted as a mobile office. Through the use of this van, Valley is able to deliver technical assistance, financial literacy education, and provide access to capital.

    Organization Assets and Strengths:

    As one of the most recognized financial and business development agencies in the State of California, Valley has been directly involved with economic and community development for over thirty-four years. Valley brings new loan programs to the region, partners with community development agencies and educational institutions, and focuses attention to the special needs of the rural areas and communities. Valley’s organizational structure is comprised of an 10-member Board of Directors and an operating staff of 13. The operating staff has a wide range of skills – senior staff with financial analysis abilities and community involvement and development relationships; loan officers with financial expertise and technical assistance/business counseling experience; and an experienced administrative support staff.

    Valley has been tremendously successful due to the depth of understanding of the challenges faced by the small business owner and small farmer. Over half of Valley’s current staff have owned or currently own small businesses or farming operations. They understand how intimidating the lending process can be and strive to make that process more user-friendly.