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Dog days ahead for Philly business thanks to unlikely source

10/31/2012 | Real Estate Blog

When the franchise owner of Central Bark, a day care facility for – you guessed it – dogs went looking for financial help in relocating her small business she received support from an unlikely source. That source is an almost 55-year-old nonprofit economic development organization that has been linked to some of Philadelphia’s most ambitious building projects. We are referring to the Comcast Stadium and the repurposing of the Navy Yard, among others. The president of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. doesn’t even have a dog.

The nonprofit guaranteed half of the small business’s $125,000 loan and line of credit and that will allow the owner to expand her doggie-day-care business into larger facility. Currently, Central Bark’s staff of ten cares for 80 dogs each day with roughly ten dogs overnight. Finding the economical means in which to expand her business is no doubt only part of the challenge. When a small business needs to expand oftentimes they are faced with a variety of challenges that include zoning and land use restrictions once they find the real estate that will fit their needs.

In this case, the small business owner was surprised when her attorney brought up the notion that the well-known economic development organization might be a source for financing. Having that kind of support behind your business can go a long way in cutting through the normal development challenges that growing a small business can entail. It doesn’t hurt to have a knowledgeable legal team backing you up either.

Usually these types of organizations are geared towards big business and what many of us think about major land and commercial developments, but apparently that is an image that the president of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. wants to change. After considering how the organization could expand its lending to small businesses it created a subsidiary, PIDC-Regional Development Corp., which is now a community-development financial institution or CDFI.

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Shedding and image, lending a paw,” Diane Mastrull, Oct. 29, 2012

Our Philadelphia law firm helps small business and individuals with a variety legal issues involving land use and development issues, including applications with local, state and federal agencies, variance requests and site plan approvals.