February 23, 2017
PIDC is an advocate for improving the access to capital for small businesses in Philadelphia. That is why it’s a member of the City of Philadelphia’s Capital Consortium. The Capital Consortium is a group of nonprofit and for profit commercial lenders who work together with the Philadelphia Department of Commerce to improve access to capital for small businesses throughout the city. Member organizations provide loans and technical assistance to small businesses in order to help them start and grow. The Consortium works to streamline and improve the process for businesses to apply for loans.
Through the Capital Consortium, PIDC connected to DiPinto Guitars and was able to provide them with a Working Capital & Equipment Loan to purchase new inventory, refinance debt, and add additional sales and marketing support. The 21-year company is known for guitar designing, manufacturing, and retail sales. It is owned by husband and wife team Chris and Sophy DiPinto and based out of a three story mixed use building on East Girard Avenue in Fishtown. The company is small but well known within the music industry for its unique, high quality electric guitars and basses. The DiPintos also offer guitar lessons and repairs on site and sell a line of logo-wear online and at the retail location. Certain specialty guitars are made entirely by hand on-site. Most famously, Chris DiPinto designed and built a guitar for David Bowie in 2004. He has also designed and manufactured guitars for Jack White of the White Stripes and Jimmy Vivino of the Basic Cable Band (the house band for the Conan O’Brien television show).
“It was phenomenal,” says Sophy DiPinto. “Instead of me going to banks, banks were coming to me with offers. I was able to go through a bunch of different banks and nonprofit lenders to find the best fit. It felt empowering.” She says about a dozen consortium members contacted her. “In the end PIDC was the best fit for us.”
Jonathan Snyder, at the Philadelphia Department of Commerce oversees the Capital Consortium. To date Snyder has sent out 30 completed forms to the consortium, resulting in 24 businesses contacted by at least one consortium member, and four loans have closed so far. Of the four loans closed, PIDC has either been the lender or referral source and provides on average, three free technical assistance workshops each month for businesses.
For more information about the Capital Consortium and to apply click here.