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Message from the Executive Director

Small business financing gap continues,
IBank is still filling it

Like the 4,739 small businesses in the latest Small Business Credit Survey, Jason Poole experienced a gap in the funding he needed to launch the sale of  Preservation and Company’s  award winning Bloody Mary Mix. Poole turned first to the crowd-funding site Kickstarter and raised $35,000.  But Jason needed more capital to expand. Jason was introduced to Nor-Cal Financial Development Corporation that introduced him to IBank’s Small Business Loan Guarantee Program.  “So the backing from IBank really allowed us to stop using some less preferable methods of financing and allowed us to start sourcing in larger bulk, decreasing our expenses and increasing our profits on the merchandise that we were selling,” Poole says.

The Federal Reserve Bank’s national 2016 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Employer Firms found that 67% of businesses with $1 million or less in revenue continue to experience financing shortfalls.

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At IBank, we have found that working with the Financial Development Corporations (FDCs) under IBank’s Small Business Loan Guarantee Program has made a big difference in the small firm’s ability to access their necessary capital. Through the technical assistance the FDCs provide, small businesses are more likely to be approved for the amount they actually need and request.  That spells success for the economy and firms like Preservation and Company. “We have hired a couple of new employees since actually gaining the funds from IBank, and we’re up to 6 working in the kitchen and one in the office, and everyone has a pretty diverse background and fun story,” says Jason Poole. 

IBank and Nor-Cal are proud to be a part of Preservation and Company’s success and the success of the thousands of small businesses that have worked with the FDCs and received the benefits of IBank’s Small Business Loan Guarantee Program.

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Very truly yours,


Teveia Barnes

IBank Executive Director

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Financial Development Corporation Activity

Small Business Success Story

Cold Beer on a Sunny Day? No Problem with William Painter

Financial Development Corporation (FDC): Nor-Cal FDC

Borrower: William Painter, Inc.

Lender: Accion San Diego

Loan Amount: $50,000

Employees: 4

William Painter majority owner Matt DeCelles initially came up with the unique idea of sunglasses with a built-in bottle opener while enrolled at San Diego State University (SDSU). DeCelles was a student at SDSU’s prestigious Lavin Entrepreneur Program, a two-year curriculum designed to allow students the resources needed to design, think, pitch and pivot their business ideas.


Along with business partner Patrick Eckstein, DeCelles quickly got to work creating a prototype. They enlisted the help of a local college ski team, whose input helped them craft their signature “Hook” sunglasses design. Crafted out of aerospace-grade titanium and combined with a durable black coating allowed their sunglasses to withstand hundreds of bottle openings.  DeCelles brought friends Zach Luczynski and Steven Dempsey on board, and the four successfully pitched the idea to Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform for creative projects. Eventually, they raised an initial $26,000 in seed money.

In November of 2013, the high-end sunglass company William Painter, named after the 19th century American mechanical engineer who most notably invented the crown cork bottle cap and bottle opener, was born. What started as a school project, quickly transformed into a fashion icon. The business experienced great success through subsequent Kickstarter campaigns, allowing for the introduction of new products.

Without outside capital however, the company hit a financial roadblock, and their significant progress started to wane. Thanks to the a $50,000 loan provided by Accion and guaranteed by Nor-Cal Financial Development Corporation through IBank’s Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, William Painter Sunglasses was able to bulk purchase inventory in preparation for the summer rush, allowing the company to continue to grow.

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