Jewish Free Loan Association Celebrates 120 Years of Empowering Communities

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Jewish Free Loan Association Celebrates 120 Years of Empowering Communities

Jewish Free Loan Association Celebrates 120 Years of Empowering Communities, Launches New App, and  Provides Loans to Entertainment Industry Professionals During Strikes, and Helps Launch Natural Products Companies with Business Loans!  By: Amy Levy

The Jewish Free Loan Association (JFLA) is celebrating its 120th anniversary, marking a significant milestone in the organization’s enduring commitment to providing zero-interest, zero-fee loans to those in need, with a focus on small business loans.

JFLA Executive Director Rachel Grose said, “We are dedicated to empowering clients within our community, and we are proud of the affect we have made. Our 120th anniversary serves as a testament to our unwavering commitment to serving those in need. The impact of JFLA extends far beyond the financial assistance we provide; it is about fostering hope and creating a better future,” she said.

With a current loan outreach of $18 million, JFLA continues its legacy of fostering financial stability and independence. Over the past two decades, JFLA has facilitated approximately 6,200 loans, equating to a remarkable $54 million in support to individuals and families. Since the Jewish Free Loan Association is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) social services organization and not a bank, borrowers only repay what they borrow. Interest-free loans, instead of charity, fill the gap in our social system by promoting self-sufficiency with dignity. There is never any collateral required, as with predatory lenders, only two guarantors to co-sign a loan.

Small Business Loans:

Loans can be used for new natural product start-ups, small business expansion, rent, inventory, technology upgrades, and green energy needs. Proof of a recently filed business tax return and CA Business License, CA Seller Permit or City of LA Tax Registration Certificate is needed to apply.

How JFLA Helped Those Affected by the WGA and SAG Strikes of 2023

The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes of 2023 created a ripple effect across various sectors of the entertainment industry, leading to financial hardships for a wide array of professionals. JFLA took a proactive stance to provide loans up to $3,000 for those in film and television that became unemployed. The traditional loan amounts up to $15,000 with two guarantors helping those without a source of income. Recognizing that the impact of these strikes extended beyond writers and actors, JFLA helped teamsters, set designers, caterers, location scouts and others to cover essential living expenses including rent/mortgage payments, grocery and utility bills, and childcare.

“For many individuals in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara County, an interest-free loan can mean the difference between despair and hope,” said Ms. Grose. “Our loans are designed to be a lifeline during these challenging times empowering borrowers to maintain stability in their lives.”

One client of JFLA, Christopher McLain, Assistant Location Manager and Scout, and a member of Hollywood Teamsters 399 Union, said, “As a member of the industry, I ran into some serious roadblocks with the resources at my disposal during the strike, and JFLA showed me incredible support and helped me quickly with a loan to get me through this tough time.”

The JFLA App Launch

In 2023, JFLA unveiled its innovative mobile app to meet the evolving needs of its diverse clientele,  78% of whom use their smartphones to complete their loan materials. Individuals, partner organizations, and foundations funded the app’s development by programmers from around the globe.

“The JFLA Mobile App allows new users (at this time, existing loans cannot be accessed on the app) to quickly answer a few questions, take a picture of their documents, and hit UPLOAD! It is empowering and user-friendly,” said Ms. Grose. Check it out in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Key features of the JFLA Mobile App include Effortless Application, Quick Approval, User-Friendly Interface, Secure and Confidential, and Real-Time Updates.

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