Borrower Story: Roberto’s Winds & Michiko Studios in NYC

Borrower Story: Roberto’s Winds & Michiko Studios in NYC

Borrower story, CDFIs, CNote
While New York City is overflowing with artists and creatives, one thing the city is always short on is space for musicians, especially rehearsal spaces that are both affordable and acoustically sound. That’s where Roberto Romeo saw a tremendous opportunity to expand his small business and support the community of local musicians. As the owner of Roberto’s Winds for more than a decade, Roberto had established a reputation as the premier retailer of woodwinds in New York City. With a showroom and shop known internationally, musicians travel from abroad to purchase instruments and accessories, view his high-end saxophone collection and hear stories from Roberto’s 35 years in the business. Roberto not only built a successful business, but brought together a large community of musicians that he wanted to support and…
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Redesigning Finance in Detroit

Redesigning Finance in Detroit

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An hour before my hotel alarm goes off, I’m thrown awake by a chorus of hammers, trucks and drills from the construction outside. Where am I? Right, Detroit. The city of a legendary decline and an even more legendary revival. I've heard enough "dark" stories to shape my groggy and not so pleasant image of this city - but it's an image that will be shattered in just a few days. About a month ago, CNote was invited to participate in the FinTech program sponsored by Village Capital and Paypal. The program focuses on supporting entrepreneurs creating innovative financial solutions for underserved communities and small businesses. It is in a perfect alignment with CNote and I was  excited for the opportunity to learn from other companies sharing a common mission…
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Borrower Story: Meet Fany Gerson with La Newyorkina

Borrower Story: Meet Fany Gerson with La Newyorkina

Borrower story, CDFIs
[caption id="attachment_2597" align="alignleft" width="300"] Fany at her shop "La Newyorkina"[/caption] 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…
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CNote selected to participate in Village Capital FinTech program

CNote selected to participate in Village Capital FinTech program

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We are humbled and proud to share that CNote has been selected to participate in the Village Capital FinTech program. This program, co-sponsored by PayPal and Village Capital, is on a mission to help create “accessible, efficient, and affordable financial services for underserved communities and small businesses.” Such recognition does come with a responsibility to continue what we started - democratizing finance, generating higher returns for everyone, and helping to build and fund underserved communities and entrepreneurs CNote is one of twelve companies that were selected to participate, each of them “addresses true pain points in the current financial system or intends to expand their services to fill those gaps.” Peer learning and sharing is what makes Village Capital program especially unique and there is certainly a lot to learn…
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The Pig & The Penny

The Pig & The Penny

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Did you grow up with a piggy bank? You know, the pink kind that smiles end to end as you proudly plop each copper penny into its thin slat? Plunk. Plink, plink. Yep, me too. But, what I’ve come to realize is the psychology behind that little pig is much broader than I thought. To me, that piggy bank was the first representation of “savings” - or the idea of storing money for another day. As a kid, it could sometimes feel like torture, waiting endlessly for that 50 cents to grow to $5 so I could finally buy that special toy. As a teenager, it started to feel like power, where I didn’t have to ask my parents for every purchase. As a grown adult, it feels like safety,…
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