MERIDEN, CT, May 14, 2010 -- Connecticut waterways may be safer from biomedical waste, thanks to an innovative Community Economic Development Fund small business loan guarantee program. CEDF, with loan-program partners, Connecticut's Department of Economic and Community and the City of West Haven have guaranteed a small business loan to a West Haven company that stems improper disposal of needles and prescription drugs.
West Haven's Pathacura removes area medical waste from health care facilities safely and with a dedication to protecting one of the state's most precious assets, its water. "Pharmaceuticals and personal health care products in the water are a growing national concern; it's important that Connecticut's water is protected from pollutants and chemicals," says Pathacura's Michael Monsillo.
Monsillo's father started Pathacura 15 years ago. The son's been growing the business despite difficult economic conditions. Even as the recession deepened, Pathacura's volume spiked with H1N1 testing and vaccinations. "Pathacura's credit needed development, but we were too small a company to go to a bank for funding," he says.
Monsillo heard about CEDF's micro-finance loan guarantee program at a Rotary Club meeting. CEDF, with the Department of Economic and Community Development and cities of Hartford, Stamford, Bridgeport and West Haven, created the program to mitigate the risk of eligible small businesses. The cities support the small loans with 30 percent guarantees. The program is also partially funded by the Small Business Administration.
Pathacura is using the loan to expand its medical hazardous remediation work for local businesses and public facilities.
"The guarantee programs with our partners enhance CEDF's ability to support small business, particularly start-up or at-risk business and those with little or no collateral," says Donna Wertenbach, CEDF President and CEO. She noted that CEDF can make these loans because 21 banks and other institutions have invested in CEDF's small business, high-risk loan pool.
CEDF was created in 1994 to revitalize Connecticut's distressed neighborhoods by providing greater access to capital, technical assistance to small businesses and support for community economic development. Since then CEDF has provided millions of dollars in loans to small businesses, created and retained thousands of jobs for the state's residents, and funded numerous community planning efforts. Joining forces with the state, leading lenders and representatives from low and moderate income communities, CEDF is helping Connecticut's small businesses and neighborhoods.