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Founded in 2014, BCL’s Community Loan Centers of Austin and Dallas are a financial wellness program offered as a employee benefit to participating employers in our Austin and Dallas programs through employers like Parkland Hospital, United Way of Greater Austin, the Cities of Austin, Dallas, and Wilmer, and more.Read More
When Travis County contracted BCL to administer their TCTX Thrive Small Business Grant Program, we knew that customer service and personal attention were going to be key for helping small business owners access the funds. Based on our 30 years of working with entrepreneurs, as well as seeing difficulties posed by other programs, we knew that navigating an online application portal and accessing a variety of financial documents and reports can be a burden on small business owners.Read More
We go to a personal trainer to get in shape, a mechanic to get the car tuned up, and watch YouTube videos to learn a new song on the guitar. Yet, when we need to work on our budget, credit, or savings we often try to go at it alone.
A certified financial coach is trained to help clients get their finances in order and provide tools to keep emotions and old habits from getting in the way of making sound financial decisions.Read More
BCL of Texas is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to its Board of Directors, including Dora Zapata of Dallas, TX, Melissa Chamrad of San Antonio, and Larry Dovalina of Cotulla, TX.Read More
For the past two months, we have all read and seen the glaring issues affecting people of color. Latino and African Americans are dying at higher rates from COVID-19 due to underlying health issues. We must acknowledge that 95% of Latino and African American businesses have not benefited from the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) because small, minority-owned businesses remain underserved by mainstream lenders. And to compound matters, the death of George Floyd and many other black men and women who lose their lives at home and on the streets at the hands of police all point to long term systemic racial and social injustice.Read More
BCL processed just over $1,000,000 of PPP loans within hours of the Round 2 PPP opening. As promised, the SBA staggered the submission process to allow smaller non-profits and community banks a first opportunity to submit our loans for approval. The race to get PPP funding was slowed down so that small businesses could have ample time to get their documentation to their lenders. And unlike the first round of PPP that was allocated within a few days, there is PPP capital available and BCL is here to help with your application.Read More
Today, May 5, 2020 is BCL’s 30th anniversary. As the founder of BCL, I am proud to state that we are the most diverse statewide non-profit Community Development Finance Institution in Texas. In 30 years BCL has funded a combined 13,000 loans for businesses, families and consumers. Our mission is to Build Strong Communities across Texas. The impact of BCL’s work is impressive. Over 36,000 individuals have benefited from BCL’s work. Whether it is achieving homeownership for their families, growing a local small business and contributing to the local tax base or building personal assets for modest income families, BCL has truly made a difference.Read More
In past weeks, most businesses, communities, and families were forced to make decisions quickly. The pressure knocked many into researching various resources to maintain staff, income, health and stability, mostly using technology and digital resources to adapt. Our world is transitioning and efforts towards protecting the environment and sustainability should remain consistent.Read More
Hello Family and Friends,
Growing up, I was taught that Sundays are holy days of obligation - days for prayer, solace, and introspection. As an economic, business, and community developer, my past weeks have been spent working around the clock, helping neighboring towns with new relief loan funds to approve close to 40 loans at zero percent interest, many of these loans forgivable after three payments.Read More
Headlines and social media posts continue to educate our nation about the ongoing seriousness of the coronavirus in all our communities. As our nation, state, and local communities continue to take necessary actions to flatten the curve and ensure the health and safety of people, there is also the growing reality that this issue may persist for many months and it will touch all aspects of our society.Read More
As a HomeOwnership Specialist, I see people every day for all kinds of hardships, from families facing foreclosure to young professionals trying to manage student debt. We know that 40% of Americans don’t have $400 in the bank to pay for an emergency expense.
During a normal moment in time, paycheck to paycheck workers are often only one emergency or surprise medical bill away from a financial crisis. During this period, we see so many Americans in an even more financially precarious position.Read More
At BCL of Texas, the physical and financial health of our community has always been our biggest priority. As we weather the coronavirus pandemic, we know both individuals and businesses are seeing economic impacts across our state. We’re here to let you know that we’re here, we’re open, and we’re ready to support you. **In precaution for the health of both our staff and customers, we are moving the majority of our services online through May 1 and canceling or rescheduling in-person events. ** Here are the ways that BCL of Texas is here to work with you through this period:Read More
BCL of Texas is here to support our entrepreneurs and small business owners who have been impacted throughout Texas. As public officials take precautions for the health and safety of our community, we recognize that small business owners may feel an economic impact.Read More
Have you ever felt like you had so much debt you weren’t sure where to start even thinking about how to pay it off? Our customers Amber and Bryce, who paid off $40,000 in car and credit card debt in one year, have some advice: Go ahead and take the plunge now. “If you don’t jump now, your situation is still going to be the same a year from now,” Amber said.Read More
In a political climate where grant dollars and subsidies are dwindling, many nonprofit organizations are finding it difficult to stay sustainable and continue to deliver much-needed services to their community, having to turn to alternative funds, such as borrowed capital, to follow through on their mission. As Director of Community Development for BCL of Texas, I recognize that when organizations must take on debt to continue their programs, that debt must be as flexible and affordable as possible in order to reduce the burden on those the organization is committed to serve.Read More
A rising community star, BCL’s Andrea Allen was recently named an honoree for the 5th annual Who’s Who in Black Dallas awards.
With 15 years of mortgage industry experience, Andrea joined the BCL team in 2017 as Mortgage Processing Specialist. We sat down with her for a Q&A about what drives her passion for making a difference.Read More
While entrepreneurship and small business ownership for minorities including African Americans has made some progress over the past 60 years, there is still much to be done. In his famed 1968 speech “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” to assert black independence, King called on followers to strengthen black institutions and businesses by moving their money away from the white run business and banking establishments and depositing their dollars into black owned institutions.Read More
BCL is so proud to announce that Jackie Jones, our Director of Mortgage Lending, was named one of Mortgage Professional America’s Elite Women of 2018! MPA’s annual list features top women in the mortgage industry who are expertly leading and shaping a more diverse industry.Read More
While we celebrate the growth of small businesses ownership in the U.S, sadly the African American small business footprint has grown only to 14% of the 28 million small businesses in the nation. Most of this minority group is woefully underserved regarding growth capital and capacity building support.Read More
In October of 2009, my husband and I became first time homeowners. It was a huge accomplishment for us, and it gave us an opportunity to raise a family in our own home. Our first son was 8 months old when we became homeowners, and in 2014, we brought our second son home.Read More
A national poll from NeighborWorks America found nearly half of the taxpayers across the country expect to use their 2017 tax refund to strengthen their financial situation by either paying off debt or saving for the future. Financial capability counselors from BCL of Texas are ready to help you make the best decision possible when it comes to completing tax forms, saving and managing debt.Read More
If you want to start a business, you’ve probably thought of using your savings, asking friends and family for help, putting expenses on your credit card, and applying for a traditional bank loan. The first two options work well, provided you’ve got a little socked away and your nearest and dearest believe in your dreams as much as you do. The third could put your personal credit in serious jeopardy, not to mention racking up some crazy interest charges. The fourth, traditional bank loans, aren’t always easy to come by when you’re an entrepreneur (perhaps surprisingly). That’s where microloans come into the picture.Read More
It’s 10am in the office on a Wednesday and we’re comparing outfits to see who dressed best for the cold weather, and looking for reusable silverware and refillable water bottles for our eco-party. Later in the day, we all take a walk together, open the curtains to let in sunlight to warm the building, and compost our leftovers.Read More
In all the headlines about destruction and rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, one narrative is consistently missing: the small Texas towns outside of the Houston area that are dealing with the same devastating impacts, but with less infrastructure, less national attention, and less support.Read More
BCL spent a full and productive day with community leaders discussing the future of Austin’s economic development policy this month. We expect to have some great information for our clients coming soon. And BCL of Texas Director of Entrepreneurship Brian K. Marshall was honored to participate in these key stakeholder discussions!Read More
Back to school season is upon us once again, and a parent’s job is never done. We hold many jobs, including being our children’s lifelong teachers. We don’t have all the answers and once in a while we need inspiration to be creative in our own household solutions.Read More
June is National HomeOwnership month, and the homebuying season is in full swing. Below are four tips to help you prepare to take the first step.Read More
Formed during an economic recession by rural Texas volunteers, CEN-TEX Certified Development Corporation (which would later be called BCL of Texas) has been bold and deliberate in its mission to build strong communities. As one of the co-founders, I have seen the growth and transformation since day one.Read More
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