AEDC was created in 1978 by a group of Arcata business and community leaders to help grow the city's economy through assistance to local businesses and homeowners. Today, AEDC is a 501c3 non-profit organization and a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). AEDC's mission is to provide loans and support to entrepreneurial, innovative business and community endeavors. AEDC provides financing for business opportunities in Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake, Siskiyou and Trinity Counties, and sometimes Shasta County, in Northern California.
What is a CDFI?
A Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) is a private financial institution that is committed to delivering responsible, affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream. By financing community businesses—including small businesses, microenterprises, nonprofit organizations, commercial real estate, and affordable housing—CDFIs spark job growth and retention in hard-to serve markets across the nation. The CDFI Fund is part of the US Department of the Treasury and it offers resources and programs that invest federal dollars alongside private sector capital.
Why are you still Arcata EDC if you serve such a large region?
AEDC started as a part of the City of Arcata, working with Community Development Block Grant funds. Even early in the organization's existence, the city's intention was to have AEDC become an independent entity. As AEDC grew, the need for gap financing not being met fully in the region became a growing concern. As regions presented a need, AEDC stepped up until Arcata was just one of many communities where we served local businesses. While AEDC has moved to a more centralized location in Eureka, we continue to acknowledge that our roots are in Arcata, a place that had economic vision in the 1970s to develop AEDC and the industrial parks that have paid off with a thriving niche manufacturing industry today. We are tied to Arcata in our past, and we are glad to continue a positive relationship with the city into the future. We are equally happy to have those same positive relationships throughout our region.