“The Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation is a non-profit organization with the mission of helping bring Hispanic/Latino residents out of poverty by creating jobs, fueling economic growth, and providing bi-lingual workforce and business education,” says Marta Sonia Londoño Mejia, executive director of the Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation (MLCDC). One aspect of that mission is to encourage small business start-ups and expansion with comprehensive bilingual training, necessary resources, and micro-lending opportunities.
In August, the Peter Kiewit Foundation awarded the MLCDC grants totaling $70,000 to increase its loan portfolio, support the Micro-lending and Business Assistance Program and provide funding for technology renovations and improvements. “The PKF grants will have an important impact on the Latino/Hispanic community in the greater Omaha area,” Mejia says.
MLCDC provides loans up to $50,000 to Latino-owned businesses. By the end of September, 2018, they expect to provide 18 small Latino-owned businesses with loans totaling $300,000. History suggests that 15 of those businesses will be owned by women, she adds. “The need for micro-lending activities through MLCDC is strong,” Mejia says. The organization expects to assist over 500 individuals, provide over 650 hours of training and 1,200 hours of technical assistance and coaching.