|The Saint John Community Loan Fund began as an idea in 1996 at a meeting of the Urban Core Support Network. A small surplus from a conference led to thoughts of creating a fund to lend to people on low income to start a business or get back to work. Within months the Human Development Council hired one of the folks around that table, Seth Asimakos, who then conducted a feasibility study and wrote the business plan. Our first loan as a micro lending organization was in 1999. That loan financed Eco Timber, a Saint John River log salvaging company. Marco Theriault at left is shown with Seth and the first chair of the board, Silvia Borsic. At left below is the original steering committee standing in the Human Development Council offices!|
We have made more than 250 loans since the first and added other tools for achieving success; financial literacy and enterprise training; matched savings; and developing affordable quality office and living spaces. Over 4500 people have gone through programs that have helped them build the confidence and skills necessary to return to school, return to work, or start a business.