Katie Taylor, Main Street’s Assistant Vice President – Communications, interviews Karla De Leon. Karla’s background has been a mix of business and public policy, and her focus has been small business finance. Click here for Karla’s bio.
First and foremost, Main Street Launch provides capital for small businesses, which in itself is tremendously valuable to communities that historically lack access to capital. But aside from just providing capital for small businesses, Main Street Launch is a resource for small businesses. Managing a business can be overwhelming. Main Street Launch can be a great starting point for many business owners. We can’t be everything for every business owners but we can point them in the direction of the right resources to help their business succeed.
In what ways do you work with our clients? What’s a brief description of your role at Main Street Launch?
I started at Main Street Launch working with businesses along International Blvd providing assistance for businesses in preparation for the new East Bay Bus Rapid Transit System. My role has shifted in the past few months and now I’m working with borrowers directly to put together their loan packages. I help them gather all the documents needed for an approval and put together financial projections that are required for many loans.
What inspires or motivates you about your work with borrowers?
Our borrowers represent families. I grew up with parents who own a small business, and I know that many small business owners are working to provide for their families. Knowing that our work is ultimately supporting families in our community and helping them succeed is a big motivator for me.
What do you enjoy about working at Main Street Launch?
I love our clients, because they’re diverse, creative, and driven. I also appreciate how our staff genuinely care about our clients and their businesses. I see our staff get excited about new borrowers. While we have a variety of roles and work with borrowers at different stages, I like that everyone here wants to see our clients succeed. For me, it makes coming to work exciting because I love hearing about all the businesses we work with, not only through my own interaction with clients but from other staff.
Anything else you’d like folks to know?
I love baked goods and am always looking for the best bakery recommendation.