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Development group details goals

September 18, 2012
By Beth Christian Broschart - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

Small entrepreneurs in Randolph, Tucker and Barbour counties having difficulty obtaining financing to open a new business, or stay in business, now have another avenue to seek low-interest loans.

Woodland Community Lenders Business Director Marti Neustadt addressed Elkins Rotary Club members Monday and detailed the goals of the community development financial institution.

"There are nearly 1,000 community development financial institutions across the country," Neustadt said. "The goal of Woodlands Community Lenders is to provide financial products and services to people and communities underserved by traditional financial institutions."

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Neustadt said the board of directors has four types of businesses they hope to help with the loans.

"We hope to target organizations and communities with tourism, health care, senior services and downtown revitalization," Neustadt said. "We are fortunate to have Dave Clark as our executive director and president of the board. Karen Jacobsen is our loan fund manager."

Operating capital for Woodland Community Lenders came from a CDFI technical assistance grant, a grant from the Claude Worthington Benefit Fund, donations from the Randolph County Development Authority and donations from the Tucker Community Foundation. Lending capital comes from Tucker Community Foundation, the USDA Rural Development, the Woodlands Development Group and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

The first loan made by Woodland Community Lenders went to Tip Top Coffee Bar in Thomas.

"This loan provided the business with kitchen equipment, created three new full time jobs and filled a vacant storefront," Neustadt said. "Three other businesses we helped are the Historic Beverly Preservation Goff House, Tangled Up in Thomas and the Custard Stand in Elkins."

Neustadt said loan amounts can be from $1,000 to $100,000.

"We can also partner with banks and other community development financial institutions to provide larger loans," Neustadt said.

Neustadt will present the workshop "Finding Funding For Your Business" Saturday during the Davis & Elkins College Women In Business Workshop.

Woodlands Community Lenders is located at 1404 N. Randolph Ave. in Elkins. Inquiries should be directed to 304-636-6495 ext. 29 or send emails to

Contact Beth Christian Broschart by email at



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