May 11 2018

KeyBank Business Boost & Build Program, Powered by JumpStart, Awards $110K to Center for Economic Growth, Community Loan Fund and Excelsior Growth Fund to Fund Collaboration in New York’s Capital Region

PR Newswire

Program awards grants across Upstate New York to help economic development organizations connect with small businesses in underrepresented communities

ALBANY, N.Y., May 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program, powered by JumpStart, awarded $110,000 to the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) in collaboration with two other Capital Region nonprofits, the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region (CLFCR) and Pursuit (formerly Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF)).

(From left) Kelli Arnold, Director of Corporate Responsibility and Community Engagement, KeyBank; Ruth Mahoney, Capital Region Market President, KeyBank; Steve Cohen, President, Excelsior Growth Fund; Linda MacFarlane, Executive Director, Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region; Michael Lobsinger, Center Director, Center for Economic Growth; Andrew Kennedy, President, Center for Economic Growth; Tamika Otis, Program Manager, KeyBank Business Boost & Build New York.

CEG is the Capital Region’s chief economic development organization, working to help businesses interested in growing in, or moving to, the region. CLFCR and EGF are both Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that provide small business loans and business advisory services.  Using this funding, these three organizations will join forces to launch a new collaborative designed to provide technical assistance and loans for minority and women owned business enterprises (MWBEs) and disadvantaged small businesses in the Capital Region.

“We are excited about our collaboration with Excelsior Growth Fund, Community Loan Fund, and JumpStart through the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program’s financial support,” said Michael Lobsinger, Center Director for CEG’s Business Growth Solutions. “Through this assistance, these partner organizations will be able to provide a full continuum of services, including training and technical services along with capitalization of minority- and women-led microenterprises with microloans. The partners intend to work with them and other businesses to scale up to be viable, sustaining and successful companies through these services. The funding will lead the organizations to serve hundreds of additional entrepreneurs, who will start and expand companies that create local jobs, building on the Capital Region’s business ecosystem growth and investment into its future.”

“KeyBank is committed to helping our communities thrive through responsible and proactive citizenship,” added Ruth Mahoney, president, Capital Region, KeyBank. “While KeyBank and JumpStart have been long-standing partners, this expanded relationship delivered through respected community organizations will provide local businesses, particularly women and minority entrepreneurs, with broader access to the financing and technical assistance resources they need to be successful.”

As part of this collaborative project, CEG will hold and sponsor events and workshops for MWBEs and other disadvantaged businesses, while also providing select technical assistance for targeted companies. CLFCR will provide educational opportunities for startups and new small businesses while also providing microloans under $50,000. Meanwhile, EGF will offer its programming—including its Financial Management Training Series—to more developed businesses and will be the primary lender for larger loans ranging from $50,000$500,000.

“The Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region is proud to be joining with the Center for Economic Growth and the Excelsior Growth Fund as part of KeyBank’s Business Boost & Build program in Albany,” said Linda MacFarlane, executive director of CLFCR. “This economic partnership will provide technical assistance and financing to more than 300 small businesses that are predominantly minority or women-owned enterprises, creating more than 75 new jobs and investing $1.25 million. This comprehensive and collaborative approach to community development will ensure that underserved entrepreneurs receive the support they need to unlock their potential and transform their communities.”

“Having our headquarters in Albany, Excelsior Growth Fund and our affiliate NYBDC are committed to this community,” added Steve Cohen, president of Excelsior Growth Fund.  “Working with our partners in the Business Boost & Build program, we look forward to bringing a full suite of alternative financing products to more minority and women owned businesses right here in the Capital District.”

Today’s event is the final of four organized over the last two weeks in cities throughout Upstate New York (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany) to announce funding to local organizations from the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program.

Funded by a grant from the KeyBank Foundation to JumpStart Inc. in 2017, the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program is designed to stimulate economic growth in Ohio and Upstate New York by helping startups and small businesses grow and preparing the workforce for the needs of those companies. 

Small businesses and entrepreneurs interested in learning more about the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program can visit

About JumpStart Inc.
JumpStart unlocks the full potential of diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs to economically transform entire communities. For more information, visit and follow @JumpStartInc on Twitter.

About KeyCorp 
KeyCorp’s roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $137.0 billion at March 31, 2018.  Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,200 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC.

About the Center for Economic Growth
The Center for Economic Growth is a nonprofit, regional economic and business development organization that serves as the primary point of contact for businesses interested in growing in or moving to New York’s Capital Region. Through our longstanding relationships with local economic development officials and regional business leaders, we help businesses navigate the governmental, financial and logistical terrains of any of the eight counties in the Capital Region.

About the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region
The Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region (CLFCR) is a non-profit community development financial institution (CDFI) serving the Capital Region of New York State: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington Counties. Incorporated in 1985, its mission is to promote sustainable community development efforts for economically underserved people and communities. CLFCR provides access to capital by pooling investments and donations from socially-concerned individuals and organizations, and re-lending it to non-profit organizations for affordable housing and community services, to micro-enterprises for business development, and to individuals for home ownership and repair. CLFCR also offers training and technical assistance programs. 

About Excelsior Growth Fund (now Pursuit)
Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) helps small businesses grow by providing streamlined access to business loans and advisory services. EGF’s signature product, the EGF SmartLoan™, provides up to $100,000 in fast, transparent, and affordable financing through a secure online platform. Larger loans up to $500,000 are also available. EGF is a nonprofit organization and is certified by U.S. Department of Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Learn more at 

Funding Partners