Owners of small businesses in northwest Indiana have a new advocate. Philip McCandies has been named as Regional Business Development Officer in Lake County for the Community Investment Fund of Indiana (CIFI).

CIFI loans funds to Indiana’s smallest businesses. Most are minority-owned, newer businesses or in rural areas and may not qualify for conventional financing or may need additional funding to support growth. CIFI is funded by Indiana banks, other business organizations and grants. As example, CIFI recently received a business development grant of $750,000 from the Lake County Community Economic Development Department.

McCandies’ work involves counseling small-business owners in developing business plans and preparing to apply for and use financing to grow and sustain their business. His office is in the GreenCow co-working space in Hammond. The office can be reached via phone at 219-779-7870 or email at [email protected]

McCandies  is a PhD. candidate at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He is a graduate of the College of Charleston (SC) and is a former professional basketball player in Europe. McCandies and his wife live in Lake County.

Phil Black, CIFI executive director, says, “CIFI’s borrowers are the smallest of businesses, but they need access to financial resources. Many of our borrowers request loans of $10,000 to $50,000 for supporting general working capital needs.”

McCandies says, “CIFI’s role is to help under-capitalized small businesses get ready to graduate to regular bank financing. In the meantime, we provide loan funds to help them grow to that point.”

Statewide, CIFI has loaned $2.6 million and created or sustained over 100 jobs while providing assistance to over 30 small companies in Indiana.

Sharron Liggins, executive director of Northwest Indiana’s Continuum of Care Network is a member of the CIFI board of directors.

Background:

Community Investment Fund of Indiana (CIFI) (www.capitalizingindiana.org) provides loans and access to community development services to small businesses, low-income individuals, economic development groups and housing developers in low-and-moderate income areas of Indiana. CIFI is a private non-profit lender funded by banks and other members of the Indiana business community. Banks can get a CRA Credit for investing in CIFI. CIFI has loaned $2.6 million to more than 30 Indiana companies, creating or saving over 100 jobs.

CIFI is co-managed by Cambridge Capital Management Corp. of Indianapolis. For over 34 years, Cambridge Capital has provided non-traditional financing to small businesses located throughout Indiana. (www.cambridgecapitalmgmt.com)