2019 Year in Review

2019 was a record year for HFLA of Northeast Ohio.

We have seen a remarkable jump in loans disbursed, are moving more Northeast Ohioans toward financial stability, and are now able to plan steady and deliberate growth into the future.

This exemplary year would have never been possible without the dedication and advocacy of our supporters. With the continued commitment of our donors, board members, loan recipients, and staff we can maintain this growth that has built upon itself for the last 115 years and perpetuate HFLA’s ability to strengthen individuals and families into the future.

For the first time in over two decades we disbursed 100 loans in the year, surpassing 2018’s loan disbursements by 23 loans. This significant jump clearly shows the impact of our dollars at work. These interest free loans directly impacted 266 individuals within Northeast Ohio and countless others when considering the economic impact of the small business loan recipients.

We continued our efforts to financially empower our loan recipients, and are happy to announce that 100% of 2019’s loan recipients are having their loans reported to the three major credit bureaus. This is moving them closer to their financial goals and increasing their financial stability. Building and maintaining positive credit is a major stepping stone towards financial freedom for many of our borrowers. In making timely payments on our loans, our borrowers are heading toward becoming capable of receiving traditional financing for mortgages and personal loans in the future.

With the growth that HFLA has experienced, and the clear demand for affordable capital in the region, we know that we need to create clear and concrete steps towards the future. This year, HFLA of Northeast Ohio will be creating a new strategic plan to chart the next 3-5 years. In creating this plan we will keep our stakeholders at the forefront of our conversations and will continue to rely on our core supporters and community advocates. 

We will engage these voices to establish strategies that ensure stable growth and increases our ability to empower our shared community towards financial freedom and self-sufficiency.

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About HFLA of Northeast Ohio

HFLA of Northeast Ohio was founded in 1904 with $501 donated by Charles Ettinger, Morris Black, and their friends to help European refugees settle and begin productive lives in this country. They believed – as we do now – that if you give someone a chance to succeed, they will pay it back and we can continue this transformative cycle. The same principle guides the organization today. By providing interest-free loans to individuals, families, and small businesses in the Northeast Ohio area, we are able to help people help themselves. The association has drastically increased its lending capital in the past few years from individual gifts, bequests, endowments, foundation grants, memorials and honorariums and is now operating with a loan fund of over $1 million. HFLA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Learn more about HFLA.

Michal Marcus honored as one of CJN's 18 Difference Makers

Kevin S. Adelstein of CJN, Michal Marcus, and Lisa Williams of Cuyahoga Community College

Last night, Cleveland Jewish News hosted the fifth annual 18 Difference Makers Awards Ceremony. HFLA of Northeast Ohio’s Executive Director, Michal Marcus, was honored as a Difference Maker for positively impacting the lives of Northeastern Ohioans for over thirteen years. Michal has been the Executive Director for the past six years, and the organization has grown tremendously under her leadership. HFLA had just under $300,000 in microloans on the street when Michal began leading the organization and now has over $1,000,000 in the hands of students, small business owners, and people in need of a hand up throughout our community. Michal believes that interest-free lending can make very big difference in the lives of people experiencing financial difficulties, and is proud of the fact that HFLA applies the Jewish principle of lending money interest-free to those in need to all of Northeast Ohio, regardless of religious affiliation. Mazel tov, Michal!


To read CJN’s article about Michal, click here.