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Harlem Entrepreneurial Fund

New York City Couple Uses CDFI Financing to Help Reduce Crime and Domestic Violence

Financial and Social Impact

  • 5 full-time jobs created with help of CDFI financing

Client: Elitia and Cullen Mattox, owners of When Love Works
Client location: New York, NY
CDFI: Harlem Entrepreneurial Fund
CDFI service area: New York
CDFI services provided: Financing and technical assistance, with support from the Grow with Google Small Business Fund and Google.org Grant Program

In November 2020, When Love Works owners Elitia and Cullen Mattox turned to Harlem Entrepreneurial Fund (HEF) after learning about the CDFI’s products and services at Harlem Business Alliance, another local nonprofit. They applied and were approved for a loan from HEF to obtain short-term working capital to facilitate the mobilization of a $500,000 contract awarded by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice to alleviate crime and domestic violence.

The Mattoxes initially searched for funding online and realized they did not meet the criteria for a traditional loan. They then sought further assistance from a local bank but were met with visible disinterest and lack of support with the application process. Through HEF, the Mattoxes not only received a loan, but they also participated in the NYC Business Interest Rate Reduction program and received a $2,350 grant. The funding helped to reduce the interest expense owed on their existing loan and to free up cash flow for their business operations.

This support from HEF allowed the Mattoxes to secure a technical assistance provider contract from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) for their Mayor’s Action Plan (MAP) for the Neighborhood Safety initiative to provide a comprehensive healthy relationship capacity-building training to community-based organizations (CBOs), local groups, and residents within six NYCHA developments across the Bronx and Brooklyn. In addition, HEF’s loan helped create five full-time positions at When Love Works.

“HEF services and entrepreneurial success go hand in hand,” shared Elitia and Cullen.


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