Consumer Credit, COFECC partner to help local small biz
Aware that an individual’s financial health is key to the development of their micro, small and medium business ventures, Consumer Credit Counseling Services and the Corporation for Business and Community Financing, known as COFECC, announced Tuesday the terms of a partnership to help participants strengthen their knowledge and personal finance management.
Through this agreement, Consumer Credit will provide counseling and education to COFECC’s loan applicants and existing customers in specific areas of financial planning, debt settlement plan, credit report analysis, arrears on mortgages, home purchase, reverse mortgage, identity theft and bankruptcy.
“Consumer’s commitment is to develop the basis for financial stability, which in turn stimulates business development in Puerto Rico. A person with the ability to stabilize their personal finances can create a solid company on a growth path,” said Eugenio Alonso-Alonso, Consumer Credit president.
Although the alliance is directed more specifically to people whose credit has been denied due to their specific financial situation, COFECC will refer to Consumer Credit both potential loan candidates and recepients, so they can gain awareness on the importance of staying alert, informed and attentive to both their and their company’s finances.
“In COFECC, we provide access to credit to entrepreneurs who can not get a loan through commercial banks. However, sometimes we have to reject applications due to a highly adverse credit history but we don’t want these applicants to abandoned in the process either,” said Giovanna Piovanetti, president of COFECC.
“We want Consumer Credit Counseling Services to give them a hand to help them solve their credit sitautions so they can re-apply for their loan through COFECC and establish or expand their small business,” she said.
Since 1982, COFECC has helped more than 1,000 businesses with investments of more than $155 million, which in turn have generated more than 10,000 job opportunities, she said.
“On the other hand, our clients also need financial advisory as their business develops as well as on a personal level so that they have adequate cash reserves for their difficult times and improve their credit,” said Piovanetti.
In addition to advice, Consumer and COFECC will be sponsoring workshops and educational seminars for potential entrepreneurs.
Both executives agreed that economic development is founded on the creation of new businesses that, in turn, can expand the island’s job base.
“Our goal is for the person to maintain a realistic balance between their finances and the services and products their company offers,” Alonso noted.