As we start this year with new leadership, new employees, and the implementation of our "Entrepreneurship as a Second Chance" program, I am grateful for the opportunity to be at the helm of UCEDC as we navigate this stage of transition and growth. 

While I plan to draw on our many years of experience and leave the cornerstones of our business untouched, I am proud of our recent achievements, excited for the chance to expand, and looking forward to this new chapter and new year. 

I hope that you'll read on to learn more about these changes and join us in wishing for growth and prosperity in the year to come. As always, our business is helping your business, and we encourage you to contact us, or check out our many ongoing events to see how UCEDC can help your business today. 

UCEDC Wins "#1 Microlender Intermediary of the Year" at the 2019 SBA New Jersey District Lender Awards Luncheon
Lending Statistics 2019


  • 67 Microloans

  • $754,596 in Microloan lending

  • Average loan size of $11,263

All Loans:

  • 77 loans including Microloans, Community Advantage 7a, and 504

  • $4,343,596 total in lending
UCEDC received the "#1 Microloan Intermediary of the Year" award for the state of New Jersey as well as SBA's "Silver Level Award" for 2019 at the SBA New Jersey District Lender Awards Luncheon on January 23, 2020.

When asked what attributed to the increase in loan volume for 2019, Elizabeth Williams, UCEDC's VP of Lending, said, "Two new programs struck a chord with borrowers this year.  Rapid Response  continues to offer business owners a quick turnaround on unsecured loans up to $10,000, while  Prime Lock  makes it possible to lock in a low rate on unsecured loans up to $25,000. Both products are accessible through a streamlined application process that enables UCEDC to offer the quick turnaround business owners need." 
UCEDC Awarded $110,000
"Impact 100 Garden State" Grant!
At their Annual Awards Meeting on November 6, members of Impact 100 Garden State voted to award UCEDC a $110,000 grant for its Entrepreneurship as a Second Chance (ESC) pilot program.

The Entrepreneurship as a Second Chance initiative will offer formerly incarcerated individuals the opportunity to explore re-entry into society through business ownership. In addition to intensive entrepreneurial training, two years of one-on-one mentoring, and business plan development,
ESC will provide participants with the necessary tools for success, including computers, business software, and credit builder loans. UCEDC's Erich Peter says, "it is a pathway to self-sustainability through entrepreneurship for citizens returning from incarceration. The program enables people with former convictions to forge an alternate path toward employment free of the typical societal prejudices and obstacles faced by all trying to meaningfully re-enter society." 

Impact 100 Garden State is an organization whose mission is: "To engage women in philanthropy by collectively providing high impact grants to nonprofits serving the counties of Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex or Union. (Their) goals are to provide transformational funds to organizations that reach under-served populations; to raise the profile of those that are deserving but lesser-known; and to highlight unmet needs in the areas of Arts and Culture; Children and Families; Education; Environment, Preservation and Recreation; and Health and Wellness."
$2 Million in Business Loans as Part of the “Million Dollar Challenge” Program
UCEDC, in collaboration with The Hudson County Economic Development Corporation (HCEDC), recently announced the closing of business loans in excess of $2 million dollars to Hudson County Businesses as part of the "Million Dollar Challenge" program. 
Created in 2017 with the intention of bringing $1 million in fairly priced capital to small businesses that wouldn't qualify for conventional lending, the "Million Dollar Challenge" has offered Hudson County entrepreneurs access to loans from $5,000 to $5 million for start-up, early-stage, and mature businesses. It has helped with all types of small business needs, including working capital, equipment/inventory, business acquisition, construction/renovation of owner-occupied property, and more. 
"HCEDC and UCEDC are aligned in mission and values," said Michelle Richardson, Executive Director of HCEDC. "Together, we focus on diverse and underserved communities with the intent of building healthy and thriving local economies. We exceeded our goal and have built a sustainable model of partnership that is sure to result in continued success in the deployment of capital."

"We are proud of what we have accomplished through the "Million Dollar Challenge" initiative and the work we have done with the HCEDC," said Adam Farrah, UCEDC President. "We look forward to seeing the impact these small businesses have in their neighborhoods and to helping more entrepreneurs in the Hudson County community."  

Read the full press release HERE .
UCEDC Opens an Office
in Southern New Jersey!

In the interest of growth for UCEDC, we have officially opened a satellite office in southern New Jersey.

Located in the picturesque downtown of Mount Holly, New Jersey we are excited about the possibilities this expansion will bring, and we are looking forward to being better equipped to meet the needs of our clients and partners. Come visit us at 80 High Street, Suite 201, Mount Holly, NJ 08060!
Meet Our Newest Team Members
Alejandro Cruz, Training Officer
Say hello to Alejandro Cruz. Alejandro will be leading our training efforts in southern New Jersey and will be based out of our new Mount Holly office. With more than ten years of project management and consulting experience, he's ready to meet with entrepreneurs and business owners and assist them with their training needs. Alejandro will also be leading all of our Spanish speaking events throughout the state. He can be reached at 908-858-2365 and .
Keith Whelan, Training Officer
Introducing Keith Whelan, our new Training Officer serving northern New Jersey.  Keith comes to UCEDC with extensive small business experience, including previously working with our friends at the SBDC at Rutgers New Brunswick. Keith holds an MBA in Marketing from Columbia University. He looks forward to utilizing his multi-faceted experience to help train businesses of all ages, shapes and sizes. Based out of UCEDC's Cranford office, he can be reached at 908-527-1166 or .
Peter Kim, Loan Officer
We’re pleased to announce that Peter Kim has joined our lending team. Peter is responsible for business development and loan packaging for  UCEDC’s financing products,  including microloans, Community Advantage 7a loans, and SBA 504 Commercial Real Estate loans. He is also our lead on the Million Dollar Challenge (see previous article) in Hudson County. With over ten years of experience in banking and finance, he will help owners get the financing they need to start, grow, or maintain their small business. Peter can be reached at 908-527-1166 or .