OAKLAND, CA and SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - April 05, 2016) -  OBDC Small Business Finance, a 37-year-old Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with offices in Oakland & San Francisco, announced today they have changed their name to Main Street Launch. Main Street Launch President & CEO Jacob Singer said, "Main Street Launch will continue innovating at the intersection of small business and community economic development, pursuing strategies that leverage our small business expertise and capital as a catalyst for an inclusive and diverse local economy through entrepreneurship and jobs. From our work over the last 37 years, Main Street Launch was born."

In our hometown, Main Street Launch will now operate as Oakland Launch. In Oakland, we are accelerating our effort to support diverse entrepreneurs and the businesses and local jobs they create, using business investment as a primary strategy for creating opportunities for low-to-moderate income Oaklanders to prosper in a rapidly changing city. In Oakland, Main Street Launch is committed to providing access to capital in parity with the community, supporting neighborhood revitalization efforts without displacement, and creating jobs for Oakland's residents.

Main Street Launch's commercial lending program, led by Flor Melara, originates a variety of micro and small business loans to Oakland businesses. The Oakland Business Sustainability Program, led by Paula Groves, is a long-term commitment to the businesses in Central & East Oakland hoping to take advantage of the increased opportunities coming to their neighborhoods through the development of the Bus Rapid Transit system. Paula states, "We are there to support their goals before, during, and after construction." The Alameda County Small Business Development Center (ACSBDC), led by Lee Lambert and hosted by Main Street Launch, will continue to provide high quality business and capital advisory services to the full range of Oakland businesses, while Robert Lattimore will lead the organization's efforts to assure Main Street Launch reaches all the communities we serve.

In San Francisco, Main Street Launch will now operate as San Francisco Launch. Working with the Mayor's Office of Economic & Workforce Development (OEWD) we will continue to provide capital to businesses through the Emerging Business Loan Fund and other lending programs. In the last 5 years, we have funded over 120 loans, and those businesses have created and sustained over 600 jobs in San Francisco. "We are proud to have such a strong partnership with the City of San Francisco and support the City's economic development goals, especially in the 25 Invest In Neighborhood areas," says Darius Mahajer, who leads Main Street Launch's work in San Francisco. "The entrepreneurs contributing to the City's local economy are a critical asset to San Francisco's neighborhoods."

On Tuesday, March 22, we also initiated an affiliate, Veteran Launch, supporting new and existing veteran-owned companies across California with business advising and lending services. To learn more about Veteran Launch, please visit us at www.veteranlaunch.org.

About Main Street Launch: Our mission is to create economic opportunity by empowering entrepreneurs. Through innovative partnerships we provide business owners with capital, education, and relationships that allow them to flourish. Our collaborative approach helps our borrowers create jobs and stimulates economic development in low-to-moderate income communities. To learn more about Main Street Launch (formerly OBDC Small Business Finance), please visit us at www.mainstreetlaunch.org.

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Contact Information:

Katie Taylor
Main Street Launch