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Carolina Intl Mart photo

Raleigh Grocery Store Meets Surging COVID Demand with Help of CDFI Loan

Financial and Social Impact

  • Immigrant, minority entrepreneur able to grow retail grocery store space by 50% and offer more fresh produce and healthy foods

Client: Carolina International Mart
Client location: Raleigh, NC
CDFI: Self-Help
CDFI service area: California, Florida, , Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin
CDFI services provided: Financing, with support from the Grow with Google Small Business Fund 

Carolina International Mart is a Ghanaian family-owned and family-run business offering African and Caribbean products. A popular international grocery option in the Eastern part of Raleigh, NC, the store began experiencing surging demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and sought financing from Self-Help to expand operations in a larger space, including the purchase of new equipment and inventory.

Self-Help’s loan enabled Carolina International Mart to grow their retail grocery store space by 50 percent, expand their high margin meat and fish products department, increase their fresh produce offerings, and add additional products to become a more full-service grocery store for the local community.

“The borrower’s extensive experience in the grocery store business and the increasing demand for his goods made this a strong loan. On top of that, his expansion of fruit and vegetable options is in line with our support for increasing healthy food options in the community. He came to Self-Help because of a referral from a friend, and because he couldn’t find another lender,” said Self-Help Loan Officer Jennifer Sherwin.


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