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Cascade: No. 64, Winter 2007 — Special Issue: Financial Literacy

Credit Counseling for Small Business Owners

Bankers can refer Philadelphia-area small business owners who are turned down for loans because of credit problems to the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley (CCCSDV) for educational workshops and counseling.

Bernie Harris, small business program manager at CCCSDV, conducts a three-hour workshop that emphasizes the importance of a business owner’s credit score on a loan request. The workshops also cover budgeting, financing, and loan documentation.

Small business owners can also meet one-on-one with CCCSDV counselors who will obtain their credit reports. The workshops and counseling sessions are provided without cost.

Harris, who worked as a bank lender for 30 years, said he tells owners that “their credit score follows them everywhere and can make or break their credit request.” Harris provides the credit-related part of workshops held in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration, small business development centers, and nonprofits.

He organizes workshops in CCCSDV’s coverage area of Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania and Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties in New Jersey. He held 15 workshops in 2005 and 48 workshops in 2006. A total of 608 participants attended the workshops.

For information, contact Bernie Harris at bharris@cccsdv.org; www.cccsdv.org.

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