Fishtown Area Business Association




About the Business:

1301 North 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


FINANTA was created in 1996, making its first loan to a local recycling company.  Since then, we have generated 20+ years of entrepreneurial expansion, affordable homeownership, consumer borrowing, and community development in the Philadelphia region.  We have distinguished ourselves by delivering services in a way which is acutely aware of the cultural, social, and language challenges some of our clients encounter.  Such an approach is unique today and defines us in our mission to help more socio-economically challenged individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency and stability.

We are the #1 SBA microlender in the Philadelphia region and Pennsylvania, and #4 in the nation. We are the recipient of the 2016 Jody C. Raskind Lender of the Year award, and continue to expand our growth and impact into the future.

    Tell us about your business.

    We are a mission-driven nonprofit lending institution facilitating access to capital and technical assistance in the Philadelphia region. As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we have been spurring entrepreneurial expansion, affordable homeownership, and community development since 1996. We economically empower our customers through borrowing and financial training, delivering services in a way which is acutely aware of the cultural, social, and language challenges they encounter.

    What do you feel you offer that some of your competitors may not?

    We target first-time borrowers and established businesses poised for growth, yet unable to secure bank financing. Our products enable these businesses to scale up, revitalizing economies, creating community jobs, and becoming bankable. If you have no- or basic credit reach out to one of our FINANTA credit builders.

    Our group lending model, PRECAPS, or PRE-CAPital, provides loans, credit building, and technical assistance to lending circles or affinity groups and their members, who have similar financial needs, and desire to establish and increment credit. This product is tailored to the needs of entrepreneurs, consumers, and first-time homebuyer buyers.

    Do you live in the Fishtown area (Fishtown and its surrounding neighborhoods) as well? What do you like as a resident?

    Our staff live in and around the Philadelphia region, including Fishtown!

    What do you like about working and (if you do) running a business in this area?

    FINANTA is proud to operate out of our headquarters at 1301 North 2nd Street. The FINANTA Center opened in 2009 as a hub for local economic development, business networking, and professional services, offering affordable office space-for-lease by entrepreneurs and nonprofits, acting as a business incubator for the local community and the Philadelphia region. Over the past 20 years, our loan portfolio has come to reflect the diversity of contemporary Philadelphia: from immigrant, family-run micro-enterprises, to real estate developers, cutting-edge designers, and nonprofits.

    What do you think are the advantages that business owners have in the Fishtown area?

    Our neighborhood has a number of resources available to business owners: New Kensington CDC, Impact Services Corporation, Norris Square Community Alliance and other organizations provide direct assistance to small businesses as well as community residents. We are lucky to have them in our neighborhood!

    What obstacles do we as a business community need to overcome?

    In the United States, a shocking 20% of households are financially underserved, and 7% not served at all. That’s more than 26 MILLION households and families being excluded from traditional banking.

    In our region, this problem is exacerbated by a poverty rate that’s significantly higher than the national average at 25%. This rate is even greater among minorities, immigrants, and women. Without access to loans, these populations are susceptible to predatory loans to obtain the capital they need to buy a home, run a business, or purchase essential goods.

    We believe wholeheartedly in the mission of uplifting these underserved entrepreneurs, home buyers, and consumers in our community.

    Our lenders are uniquely aware of the cultural, social, and language challenges many of our clients encounter, allowing us to effectively administer financial services to our target population. Because of this uniquely attentive and hands-on approach to financial counseling, we have an incredibly low 3% default rate and 1.2% loan loss, lower than the traditional banking industry average. Our programs are designed to strengthen borrower’s credit and financial capability, giving them the resources they need to receive additional loans from FINANTA or mainstream banking services.

    What are two (or three) of your favorite businesses in the neighborhood and why?

    Lechonera Principe – AMAZING Puerto Rican food! They do most of our catering.
    Fireball Printing – Great neighborhood printing business we use for all of our printing needs.

    Anything else?

    FINANTA volunteers offer their time and expertise in areas, such as legal, accounting, marketing, real estate development, and much more. If you or your organization would like to volunteer on behalf of FINANTA, please email or call 267-236-7000.