Borrowers’ Stories

Hear from Loan Recipients

Watch the videos below to hear from Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund loan recipients about why they applied and how the loan has benefitted their organization.

STAMFORD Family YMCA

STAMFORD YMCA CEO SHAWN PATCH AND BOARD TREASURER PETER WEILAND SHARE EXPERIENCE WITH CONNECTICUT’S SMALL BUSINESS BOOST FUND

Founded in 1861, Stamford Family YMCA is one of the oldest YMCAs in the country and provides a variety of services to the surrounding community. Stamford YMCA offers a pool, weight room and gym facilities, “but all of that is really meant to help provide afterschool care and summer camp for kids in Stamford who otherwise wouldn’t have any place to go,” explains board treasurer Peter Weiland.

“As a true inner-city YMCA, we don’t turn anybody away due to the inability to pay,” says CEO Shawn Patch. “We knew that families out there are hurting just like everybody else, and they’re working two to three jobs, and so they really need the afterschool care.”

Patch says the nonprofit’s membership rates were at an all-time high in March 2020. But the pandemic disrupted everything. “People stopped going to the gym, people stopped going to the pool, and those activities help provide the funding that we need to give the afterschool care and day camp for kids,” Weiland explains.

When Stamford YMCA’s leadership heard about the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund, they thought it sounded too good to be true. But they applied and received a flexible, low-interest loan while other funding sources were taking longer than expected. “We were able to get the application process moving very, very quickly, and it really made a difference for us,” Weiland says.

The CT Boost Fund’s quick application process and fund disbursement allowed Stamford YMCA to keep the lights on and avoid a disruption in standard operations and payroll. Patch explains, “With that money, we were able to continue to give scholarships to these kids, so they weren’t going home alone. We are really appreciative of that.”

The Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund is designed to support businesses and nonprofits like Stamford YMCA. The CT Boost Fund offers flexible, low-interest loans with a fixed rate of 4.5% to businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 100 employees and an annual revenue of less than $8 million. Qualified business owners are matched with a community lender, who provides support and assistance throughout the application process.

VASE Management

Vincencia “Vee” Adusei, Founder and President of VASE Management, shares experience with Connecticut’s Small Business Boost Fund

Vincencia “Vee” Adusei is the founder and President of VASE Management, a construction management and real estate development company based in New Haven, CT. Born and raised in Ghana, Adusei comes from a family of construction entrepreneurs who contributed significant commercial construction projects to some of Ghana’s largest cities. Adusei loves that VASE Management’s construction and real estate work helps them “become a part of the community.”

VASE Management was born when Adusei began taking on consulting projects toward the end of her college career. Under Adusei’s leadership, it became a multimillion-dollar company over the next eight years. Adusei remains the only female, minority, and section 3 business construction manager in Connecticut.

During the pandemic, Adusei saw that rising material costs and gas prices “essentially increased the cost of everything” within her industry. Adusei knew VASE Management had to adapt so that the company had enough working capital to competitively bid on more significant projects. That was when Adusei came across the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund.

The Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund offers flexible, low-interest loans with a fixed rate of 4.5% to businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 100 employees and an annual revenue of less than $8 million. “You can’t beat that anywhere else in today’s market,” Adusei explains.

After submitting the online pre-application, Adusei quickly connected with a lender who walked her through applying for and securing a loan. A month after the application began, the funding landed in VASE Management’s bank account. Adusei shared that the application process was painless, and “having this working capital has been tremendous” in allowing VASE Management to bid on and immediately secure several larger projects. “Our competitiveness level has probably increased about another 40%,” Adusei says.

The Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund is designed to support business owners like Adusei. Qualified business owners are matched with a community lender, who provides support and assistance throughout the application process. Adusei’s advice: Take advantage of this program if you’re a small business looking to grow.

Ready to Apply?

Complete the 13 questions in the pre-application to find out if you are eligible for a loan. Eligible applicants will be connected with a community lender.