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Edwards hired as new director of finance

By LVEDC Staff on May 14, 2013

Kim Edwards’ primary responsibility is managing LVEDC’s SBA 504 program.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp., (LVEDC) announced Monday (5/13) that respected banker Kim Edwards has been named as the organization’s first Director of Finance. Edwards’ lending career spans 36 years, the last 15 of which has been as director of the financing assistance program at the Lehigh University Small Business Development Center.

“The Finance Department is a crucial aspect of LVEDC’s overall mission as an economic development agency to spur growth and create jobs,” said Don Cunningham, president and CEO. “It was my view the department needed to have an improved focus on specific disciplines of our lending program portfolio to provide all of our clients with the best possible service we can.”

A primary area of growth in the Finance Department is in the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) 504 Debenture Loan program. LVEDC is a Certified Development Company (CDC) and administers the SBA 504 loans for Lehigh Valley businesses. CDCs work with the SBA and private-sector lenders to provide financing to small businesses.

“The SBA is a very flexible financing program to our client companies and because of that it lends itself to more projects from an eligibility standpoint,” said John Kingsley, vice president of economic development finance. “Kim’s primary responsibility will be managing that program and on expanding the reach of it throughout the Lehigh Valley.”

SBA 504 loans provide long-term, fixed-rate financing to small businesses to acquire real estate, machinery or equipment for expansion or modernization. Typically a 504 project includes a loan secured from a private-sector lender with a senior lien, a loan secured from the SBA with a junior lien covering up to 40 percent of the total cost, and a contribution of at least 10 percent equity from the borrower.

Kingsley said Edwards’ presence in the Lehigh Valley lending community and his specific experience as a commercial lender set him apart from other applicants.

“As soon as we started reviewing applicants it was clear Kim was going to rise to the top,” Kingsley said. “He had done a lot of advocacy for local small businesses to help generate financing for their projects. Kim is a perfect fit for us.”

Edwards has served as director of the financing assistance program with the Lehigh University Small Business Development Center since 1998. In this capacity he routinely assisted small business procure public and private-sector financing and served as a liaison between businesses and loan funds, banks and several economic development agencies.

Prior to this Edwards served for 13 years as the vice president in Northampton County for  CoreStates Bank, where he actively managed a $25 million portfolio consisting of 65 relationships. His banking career began in 1977 with First National/Meridian Bank, which later merged with CoreStates in 1985.

“This position is a good opportunity and also a challenging opportunity,” said Edwards. “I’ve worked with LVEDC since 1998 and have developed many relationships within the Lehigh Valley lending community that coincide with my position with LVEDC.”

Edwards earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Kutztown University in 1974. He also completed American Institute of Banking/Commercial Lending School courses at Bucknell University in 1986.

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