As we begin to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, many impact lenders are leaping into action to offer forbearance to existing borrowers and low-interest loans to new borrowers. This is new territory for a lot of lenders, so on today’s episode we talk with two experts from New Jersey Community Capital, a CDFI that ran a successful loan program for shuttered businesses in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. They share their experience during that time and talk about what lessons they learned as they begin to implement NJCC’s newest loan fund, the Garden State Relief Fund, in response to the current crisis.

About Our Guests:

Leah Apgar joined New Jersey Community Capital in 2006, first as an intern, then as a lender, and now as Managing Director, Lending. She has been responsible for business development, relationship management, and underwriting for more than $200 million of financing for many important community development projects.  She graduated from the Bloustein School’s Public Policy program in 2007 and is passionate about community development finance.

Joseph Palazzolo, Ed.D., joined New Jersey Community Capital in August 2006 as a Lending Officer and was promoted to Lending Team Leader for Education & Early Care in the fall of 2011 and Program Director in 2020. Responsible for NJCC’s lending in the education and early care sectors, Joe’s primary duties include generating new business development in his target sectors, performing on-going relationship management, underwriting and closing loans, and managing grant funds devoted to credit-enhancing charter school transactions. Joe also manages NJCC’s early care fund and helps manage NJCC’s creative placemaking fund. Joe holds a Doctorate in Education with a focus on Organizational Change and Leadership from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. He also holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from Rutgers University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Graduate Certificate as a Public Relations Specialist, and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Curriculum Studies from Monmouth University.

Resources Related to this Episode:

NJCC’s Garden State Relief Fund: https://www.newjerseycommunitycapital.org/initiatives/garden-state-relief-fund

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