Borrower Story: Meet Fany Gerson with La Newyorkina

Fanny at her shop "La NewYorkina"

Fany at her shop “La Newyorkina

La Newyorkina is a fan favorite in New York City. Found at kiosks, carts, and coffee shops in the East Village and a retail store out of Brooklyn, its authentic, tasty frozen treats and sweets from Mexico are a special treat in the heat of NYC summer. After making tens of thousands of satisfied customers happy, La Newyorkina was ready to bring their goodies to even more people and expand into other parts of the city. And then Hurricane Sandy happened. The expansion was stalled indefinitely.

Fany Gerson, the founder of La Newyorkina, did not give up. She continued with her plans for growth and was even preparing to ramp up the business for the next season. But she needed capital and needed it quickly. “If we had to wait for the loan, we would have missed the whole year. We sell ice cream and other treats; we can’t miss a nice day.” Not only could she not afford to wait for a loan from a commercial bank but this local business could not mess around with just any lender that might distract her from her day to day operations.

In search of a solution, Fany attended an event at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce where she met the head of a local CDFI, Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF). She was personally touched by their approach to lending to small businesses like hers – EGF did not just look at the dry numbers of past performance, but instead took time to understand her plans and vision for the company. The turnaround was also impressive – a loan officer from EGF called Fany the next day and within a week she had the loan approved, meeting the specific needs of the business. With that money, the second store of La Newyorkina was opened!

Today, Fany thinks back to that stressful time of looking for capital and considers herself lucky and blessed to have met the EGF team. “Summer hit and things have been insane. We’ve hired about 15 more people and are looking to continue our expansion. Getting that loan from EGF allowed us to grow while keeping the business in our kiosks going strong. The future is really bright now. We could not have done it without EGF.”

Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) is a CDFI promoting economic development and job creation in New York by providing access to small business loans and business advisory services. EGF is one of the CDFI partners CNote works with so when Fany Gerson of La Newyorkina says “…We could not have done it without EGF” she means without CNote members as well! We’re very proud to be a part of this change!