Alexandro Lugo-Mora, owner of Excellence Auto Repair, opened his South Bronx-based shop a decade ago, and has built a reputation for great customer service and timely repairs. To meet evolving industry standards and increasing customer expectations, and to stay on top of his field, he wanted to invest in state-of-the-art equipment.

With many lending options available in New York City, it’s easy for small business owners to become overwhelmed by their available options and the process. In addition, many small business owners may not qualify for loans through traditional banks, which was a problem that Alexandro faced.

After getting turned down, Alexandro talked to his accountant, who was connected with Excelsior Growth Fund. EGF had encouraged Alexandro’s accountant to inform his clients about the NYC Local Lending initiative if they needed access to capital.

NYC Local Lending brings together the resources of three community-based lenders—Accion, Excelsior Growth Fund, and Renaissance Economic Development Corporation—to increase access to loans for small businesses located in underserved neighborhoods in New York City. Alexandro submitted an online inquiry, and was matched with Excelsior Growth Fund.

Alexandro secured a loan with Excelsior Growth Fund to purchase equipment and inventory and add employees – he’s up to 11 now, with plans to grow further. “The process didn’t take long, and the loan was approved pretty quickly,” Alexandro says. “I want to provide the best service to my customers and now I can, with the right equipment and more staff in place.”

“This program and these loans offer good flexibility. When I compared what was available, the interest rate was better, and so was the amount of time that I’d have to pay back the loan,” Alexandro says. “I definitely recommend it. This is a great opportunity.”