This year marks the 25th year that SOREDI has managed a Business Development Loan Program, thanks in large part to seed funds provided by the EDA and USDA. As the region’s federally appointed Economic Development District, we are established as a gap financer. Our job as such is to help eligible credit-worthy clients attain the financing they need to acquire real property, equipment or working capital that leads to growth of their business.
Unlike our banking partners, our metric is not return on our investment. While we do hope to be repaid in full, of course, we take precautionary measures to accurately estimate potential loan loss reserves and mitigate risk to the overall loan program. Our loan committee and board leadership carefully evaluate the program twice a year and make adjustments to our financials. Our metrics, as you may have guessed, are job creation and retention, leveraging every opportunity for the benefit of the business loan applicant and reducing risk for our bank and lending partners.
As our fiscal year comes to a close, our loan committee will gather this week to consider a loan proposal put forth by our Business Development Loan Manager, Noland Alston, and likely move to help another business prosper. That is our job. And assuming the loan measures up to the thoughtful standards of our 7-person loan committee, we will have lent nearly $20 million to date, made 241 small business development loans, helped those loan clients create over 950 jobs, retain over 1250 jobs, and many more millions of dollars in partner financing.
In November 2018, Carl Cicero who owns the Midway Country Store on the Butte Falls Highway called to thank SOREDI for our support through the loan program. His loan with SOREDI paid off over 20 years ago as he refinanced with a bank. Carl had just been in to visit his bank and pay off that loan and was compelled to call us and simply thank SOREDI, noting that he would not have been able to have his business without SOREDI’s help. The store is located at 5600 Butte Falls Hwy – make a road trip this weekend to visit Butte Falls, and pick up some snacks for the Midway Country Store – while you’re there, congratulate Carl for his long-standing business success.
SOREDI is proud to note that we have carefully managed and leveraged our Business Development Loan Program and are in a strong position, with currently over $2 million available to lend. With fixed rates, fixed terms and no early payoff penalties – we provide great options for all types of businesses who may not be eligible for traditional bank financing. Moreover, SOREDI can offer flexibility, creativity, and a quick turnaround. Need some financial assistance for your business? Consider reaching out to SOREDI’s Business Development Loan Manager, Noland Alston, (541) 773-8946.
The strength of our loan program today, is in large part due to the long-standing oversight of our loan committee. Unfortunately, on June 1 we lost a great friend who had served 20 years on the SOREDI loan committee. In memory of Dennis Donnelly, who was also the 2015 recipient of our Inspiration Award – because indeed, he was an inspiration to all – please join us in revisiting the award presentation script (grammatically modified).
In memory of Dennis Donnelly, 2015 SOREDI Inspiration Award Recipient (June 2015)
This likeable veteran, though often a quiet SOREDI member, was committed to SOREDI for 20 years, serving faithfully on one of our critically important committees. Bringing a discerning eye for finance, Dennis Donnelly saw a fair share of business plans and SOREDI loan proposals over the years—the so-called Good, Bad, and Ugly.
Quick to spot inaccuracies or worse yet, failure to follow GAAP (not the fashionable clothing store in the mall, of course), this industry expert relished the role of bringing order to the group of fellow professionals on the Committee. And yes, according to our former loan manager, Alex Pawlowski, there were even occasions when this 20-year SOREDI partner walked into the room with a great big smile—that was usually following tax season and the vacation period immediately following!
Through it all, this pillar of strength and fortitude served on the SOREDI Loan Committee and could be counted on to attend almost every session except during Tax Season. Donnelly was affectionately referred to as the Committee’s “Dennis the Menace” but in most cases if “Mikey Liked It” – the loan proposal that is – then everyone loved the proposal. This friend to SOREDI is already dearly missed and served the longest on SOREDI’s Loan Committee or any other standing committee for that matter, to date.
Dennis was a US Army veteran and served in the Vietnamese War. He was a graduate of Southern Oregon State College with a degree in Business Administration. He was the epitome of preparedness as he always came ready to discuss the merits or drawbacks of a loan application. When you consider that by 2015 SOREDI had already made loans to more than 220 applicants – and reviewed many others that were not approved – that’s a lot of volunteer time reading financials and “in between the lines” for risk worthiness that might have been spent enjoying fishing on the Rogue River, driving ATV’s at the coast, or restoring one of his classic cars.
More than deserving as our 2015 inspiration award recipient – this 40-something-year veteran may not have been a rock star, but he was rock solid! Co-founder and partner of KDP Certified Public Accountants, Dennis Donnelly was always ready and willing to help SOREDI “help business prosper!”
A memorial service for Dennis is planned for Saturday, June 15, 11 am – 2 pm, at Paschal Winery, 1122 Suncrest Rd in Talent.
Colleen Padilla, Executive Director