Two California CDCs — Cen Cal Business Finance and Mid State Development to Merge

Frank Gallegos

Fresno-based Cen Cal Business Finance Group and Bakersfield-based Mid State Development will merge.

This follows Cen Cal’s merger with Santa Maria-based Central Coast in November.

As of Dec. 1, 2023, Mid State had a total of 191 loans for $71.3 million, and Cen Cal had a total of 336 loans for $160.7 million. 

All employees from both organizations will remain except for Keith Brice. The Mid State Development President will retire once the merger is complete. 

“I will be riding off into the sunset after 24 years with Mid State Development Corporation and a 45-year career in commercial lending,” Brice says with a big smile.

“The merged company will be in great hands under the leadership of Frank Gallegos.  I’ve known Frank several years. I consider him a friend and an excellent person to carry the organization forward into the future.”    

The two organizations are longtime private, not-for-profits with the common mission of economic development in their respective communities. Both are licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration as CDCs to deliver SBA 504 loan programs. 

Keith Brice

“With over 80 years of combined lending experience, Mid State Development and Cen Cal Business Finance have provided millions of dollars of SBA loans which have helped San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast small businesses create and retain thousands of jobs,” notes Dawn Golik, Fresno SBA Director.  “Their merger will create even more opportunities for this region’s small businesses to access the capital they need to start up, scale up and succeed,” said Golik. 

The merger of Mid State and Cen Cal will provide continuity for the SBA 504 loan program for business owners in Kern County. 

New plans include the launch of a microloan program that will extend support to segments of the community not presently being reached according to Frank Gallegos, Cen Cal’s Executive Director. 

“The new loan fund will be a completely privately funded Revolving Loan Fund for existing Bakersfield small businesses.  Loans will range from $10,000 to $25,000 and can be used for equipment, working capital, and inventory.  We plan to hire local college interns to help work with clients to process the loans.” 

Founded in 1984, Cen Cal provides fixed-rate SBA 504 loans for owner-occupied real estate acquisitions and equipment purchases to small and medium sized businesses throughout California’s Central Valley and Central California Coast by partnering with banks, private lenders, and credit unions.