Client: Dr. Ashley L. Cochran, owner of Unlimited Potential Therapeutic Services, LLC
Client Location: Montgomery, AL
CDFI: Sabre Finance
CDFI Service Area: AL
Small business financing, with support from OFN’s Finance Justice Fund
When Dr. Ashley L. Cochran needed a mortgage to expand her growing therapy business, she tried accessing capital from traditional financial institutions. With 26 clients and counting, she and her part-time clinician had outgrown the single 80-square-foot room in a local church in Montgomery, Alabama, where they had been operating Unlimited Potential Therapeutic Services, LLC (UP Therapy) for over two years.
However, after mainstream institutions denied Dr. Cochran’s mortgage application, she sought out alternative financing options. Dr. Cochran found Sabre Finance, a community development financial institution (CDFI) based in Birmingham, and enrolled in their 10-week NxLevel Entrepreneurship training course. Through the program, Dr. Cochran learned about Sabre Finance’s support beyond funding and built a relationship with them, which ultimately helped her secure a loan from the CDFI.
This loan has enabled Dr. Cochran and UP Therapy to purchase commercial real estate within her target market and expand her services. She has added two additional therapists and an administrative assistant, and she now has more space to offer play therapy and non-traditional practices that were limited by the previous space.
Support Economic Opportunity by Supporting CDFIs
Entrepreneurship surged during the pandemic, increasing demand for small business financing that continues today. At the same time, financing constrictions nationwide are putting small businesses — and the American economy — at risk. And for Black-owned businesses, financing gaps make it even harder to access critical startup or growth capital.
In 2021, certified CDFIs had more than $25 billion in small business and microloans in their portfolios. With a cumulative net charge-off rate of less than 1%, CDFIs like Sabre Finance lend productively in low-income, low-wealth markets.
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