Accion Texas-Louisiana helping business owners learn about financing

Tamarind Phinisee | Jun 16, 2011, 10:20am CDT

ACCIÓN Texas-Louisiana will open its new Lending Learning Center in two weeks.

The new center is located in the space that was formerly occupied by the Community Development Loan Fund (CDLF) located at 225 W. Poplar St., just north of downtown.

The space was vacated when the CDLF and the city-owned South Texas Development Fund became part of ACCIÓN. The goal of that merger was to provide a one-stop shop for business owners, where they could go to apply for and receive loans and technical assistance.

The Lending Learning Center encompasses three Victorian-era houses and a carriage house, all of which have been restored and are now in use as office space.

Veronica Flores-Paniagua, spokeswoman for ACCIÓN, says one building holds the San Antonio-area lending operation, which previously was housed at the organization’s headquarters on South Hackberry.

Two other buildings house the Learning Center, which is the new business-support element of ACCION’s small-business services. A fourth house on the campus will be leased. A carriage house behind the main structures serves as a training room.

“A portion of the campus was part of the consolidation with CDLF. Last month, ACCION purchased the rest of the campus from First Universal Unitarian Housing,” says Flores-Paniagua.

The lender center, Flores-Paniagua says will continue to provide and expand its lending services to small businesses in the area. The learning center, she says, is a newer source of excitement for ACCIÓN.

“In short, it is an easily accessible resource that provides training, counseling and guidance to entrepreneurs — not just ACCIÓN clients — who want to start or expand their business,” she says.

Business advisers offer assistance in many areas, including business plan development, business-growth processes, marketing plans, financial and human-resource management, as well as assist with certification and contracting opportunities. Individual business counseling also is available. The opening for the new center will be held on Tuesday, June 28 from 10 a.m. to noon at 225 W. Poplar.