SANTA FE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Since she was a teenager, Neda Talebreza knew she would end up working in childcare. Although she currently works as a general manager of a women’s clothing store, Ms. Talebreza is working hard to launch her new business, Forte Consuelo International, LLC (Forte Consuelo). Set to open this summer, Forte Consuelo will be the first evening childcare facility in the Santa Fe, New Mexico, area, offering local parents an alternative to in-home evening care.
A loan from Century Bank, which was funded by an Economic Development Program (EDP) advance from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), helped with the purchase of the building. An accompanying $9,960 Economic Development Program Plus (EDPPlus) grant assisted with start-up costs, including insurance, furniture, toys and marketing. The grant was awarded during a ceremonial check presentation yesterday with representatives from the offices of U.S. Representative Ben Lujan, D-N.M., and Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M., in attendance.
Noncompetitive EDPPlus grants are awarded in conjunction with EDP advances through FHLB Dallas members, like Century Bank. The grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis to promote and enhance small business development and job creation.
Ms. Talebreza said her experience working with Century Bank through the application process was “a cut above the rest.”
“One day I walked into Century Bank and was referred to David Valdez,” explained Ms. Talebreza. “He was all ‘yeses’ and helped me every step of the way. This process would have been impossible without Mr. Valdez’s help.”
Mr. Valdez, Century Bank’s vice president of Small Business and Commercial Lending, said the EDP advance and EDPPlus grant programs are not only a great way to stimulate the local economy, but also helpful for their customers to access funds and manage interest rate risk.
“Ms. Talebreza’s determination and passion for her business was contagious, so it was a pleasure to work with her through the process,” said Mr. Valdez. “Helping small businesses get off the ground is one of the many reasons Century Bank is proud to offer the EDPPlus grant.”
In 2016, FHLB Dallas awarded $1 million in EDPPlus grants in conjunction with EDP advances to 48 businesses in FHLB Dallas’ five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. FHLB Dallas has made available $750,000 in EDPPlus grants through its members this year.
Gustavo Molina, SVP and chief banking operations officer at FHLB Dallas, said the EDP advance and grant programs support economic development activities, which boost the local economy.
“The signature EDPPlus feature of the EDP advance program helps our members make a difference in their communities,” he said. “We are proud to partner with Century Bank to help provide important services to the community and help boost the local economy.”
Ms. Talebreza said that the EDPPlus grant helped instill a sense of pride in her knowing that she is contributing to the Santa Fe community.
“I have this great sense of pride knowing I’m contributing to Santa Fe, my home, my community,” she said.
About Century Bank
Established in 1887, Century Bank is a locally owned community bank that offers a full range of quality banking products and services to businesses and residents of Santa Fe, Española, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Rio Rancho, New Mexico. For more information, visit the bank’s website at MyCenturyBank.com.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $57.5 billion as of March 31, 2017, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community investment by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit fhlb.com.