Welcome back to our Blooom Brain Pickers series! We’re picking the brains of the best in the biz to inform, entertain, and most of all, educate you when it comes to making personal finance decisions. Today we are honored to feature David Gordon of AltCap. AltCap exists to increase the flow of capital to communities and businesses not adequately served by mainstream financial institutions.
From the very beginning, blooom’s mission has been focused on bridging the gap of financial inequality by giving the average American worker access to affordable investment advice and retirement account management, regardless of account balance.
As a disruptor in our industry, we know that the problems of economic inequality in our country, while very complex, are long overdue for greater focus on a national level. And we know that successfully solving these complex problems will involve far more than a single, unique product or service.
Blooom is committed to amplifying the voices of individuals and organizations doing big things to help tackle financial inequality across the country and in their own communities, with new ideas and bold approaches that can improve economic and social inequities and help move ALL of us forward.
Meet Davin Gordon, Senior Business Development Officer at AltCap
Davin is responsible for identifying and implementing strategies that build awareness and opportunities to support AltCap’s alternative, nontraditional financing products. He coordinates the organization’s programs, as well as administers AltCap’s annual “AltCap Your Biz Competition” and AltCap’s newest loan program Growth Loan.
His previous work experience includes being a Staff Accountant at the Guadalupe Centers, Inc. (GCI) where he was responsible for all accounts payable and purchasing for their Guadalupe Centers Charter School District.
Davin was recently recognized as a Kansas City Business Journal NextGen Leader 2019. He is currently on the Board of Directors of Startland, and a 2nd year Centurion through the Greater Kansas City Chamber. He received his B.S. in Business Administration focusing on finance/accounting from Rockhurst University in 2013.
Tell us a bit about AltCap and the main problems you are addressing for small businesses and underserved communities in the current economic crisis.
AltCap is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that invest in small businesses, particularly those in mostly black and brown communities. AltCap’s role is to increase the flow of capital to communities and business not adequately served by mainstream financial services industry. AltCap has 12 years of experience deploying high-impact, community-focused capital to underinvested communities and entrepreneurs. Since 2008, AltCap has deployed nearly $250 million in New Market Tax Credits and nearly $15 million in small business financing. When large parts of the local economy closed down due to stay at home orders, AltCap stepped up. We administered the KC COVID-19 Small Business Relief + Recovery Loan Fund, an effort backed by local philanthropies like the Ewing Kauffman Foundation and leading business institutions Civic Council of Greater Kansas City and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. This loan fund targets businesses that often don’t have relationships with banks and traditional lenders.
Can you explain the concept of microloans and how alternative forms of capital can play a major role in economic development in communities across the country?
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) a microloan is defined as a business loan of up to $50,000 to startups and small businesses. Many of our main street and microenterprises don’t need a huge SBA loan (more than $250,000) to run a profitable and successful business. Sometimes, they just need a $20,000 equipment loan for a new piece of equipment which can create a new revenue stream for their business. Others might need $10,000 to hire additional support because the demand for their product has outpaced their capacity with the current staff they have. Microloans can serve as the fuel that a business needs to take their growth to a new level. Microloans can also serve as a bridge between one project to the next. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country, city and communities so it’s important they have access to the resources they need to be successful. As a CDFI, AltCap understands that access to capital is a huge barrier for many business owners. In addition, we also want to ensure they have access to technical resources to help them cover blind spots and plan for any scenario. Kansas City is one of the greatest cities to start a small business because of all of the amazing resources providers (KCSourceLink, SBDCs, WBCs, etc.)
The financial services industry has an unfortunate history of largely excluding individuals and communities that need access to resources like capital, advisory services, and general financial support the most. What do you feel consumers and local business leaders can do that will help support economic development of underserved communities the most?
The first step is understanding our history of exclusion and intentionally leaving certain communities out of the mainstream financial services industry. Next, we must elevate the voices and perspectives of those individuals and communities that have been excluded and bring them to the decision making table. This is the time that we recreate the way we make decisions and leverage the experience of the end-user to inform us how to best serve and support their communities. We also have to hold our local officials accountable and demand transparency.
What personal or professional experiences have helped shape your passion for community development?
While working at the Guadalupe Center as a Staff Accountant, I had the opportunity to participate in a leadership fellowship for future Latino Leaders organized by National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB). This program inspired me to want to do more for my community. I didn’t feel like I was making the impact I wanted to have on my City by crunching numbers and reconciling spreadsheets all day. This fellowship opened my eyes to the possibilities and potential inside of me to leverage my creativity and entrepreneurial mindset to change the way we look at community development.
What is the best and/or worst financial advice you have ever received personally?
The best financial advice I’ve received is it’s never too late to start planning for your financial goals.
The information is provided for discussion purposes only and should not be considered as advice for your investments. While the data from third parties is believed to be reliable, we cannot ensure the accuracy or completeness of the data provided.