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Champion of The Underserved – An Interview with Kevin Dick

Champion of The Underserved – An Interview with Kevin Dick

Kevin Dick President CEO Carolina Small Business Development Fund

Written by Dava Greely

“It’s not just about getting the money. It’s about knowing what to do with it.”

Starting, scaling, and staying in business is no small feat, and small businesses are at an exponentially greater risk of failure, especially those belonging to people in communities that are historically underserved. Help doesn’t even begin to describe the level of advocacy and support that small businesses need in order to not merely survive, but thrive. North Carolina needed a HERO, and Kevin Dick – President and Chief Executive Officer of the Carolina Small Business Development Fund – is answering the call in a major way.

As the youngest of four children born to immigrant parents, originally hailing from Brooklyn, Kevin surely had his work cut out for him on his road to achievement, success, and influence. With an educational path that lead him through DC and Florida, we’re blessed to have had him here in North Carolina for the past seventeen years.

CSBDF is committed to empowering communities with economic, knowledge, and social capital. Kevin and his team lead the way by providing small business lending, policy research and development, and technical assistance to business owners all over North Carolina. Beyond providing financial support to small businesses via loans and grants, he understands the value of helping people to navigate policies and make smart, consistent decisions with funds.   

“It’s really important work, especially now, small businesses form so much of the character of communities, not to mention the economic development and other advantages they bring to society in terms of job creation and retention, as well as heightening the sales tax base.”

The world has experienced a huge shift and with more and more people taking their futures into their own hands by starting businesses, the need for the level of excellence at CSBDF is high! Kevin went into great and raw detail:

“What we know about this pandemic is that, whereas 17% of white-owned businesses closed during the pandemic, 32% of Hispanic-owned, and 41% of black-owned closed… So, you know the phrase, ‘When the economy catches a cold, black people catch the flu.’? That applies to small businesses too. These are all things that that society needs to be paying attention to, in terms of trying to find equitable, not necessarily equal – because there’s a difference – equitable solutions to these problems. Businesses need to be on the lookout for how society is responding to them so that they can take advantage of all of the financial capital and technical assistance available to them.”

When he’s not at the helm of this incredible organization, Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife of twenty-one years and supporting their daughter in her passions, which currently include swimming and taekwondo. He also enjoys maxing out on the beach and watching a great game, as he is an avid sports fan. A man of humble beginnings and huge heart he is, but we can’t finish this out without sharing HIS stats! 

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“Since my tenure began in February 2020, the organization has seen a 400% year over year increase in loan production and we have provided loans, loan modifications, deferred payments, and grants to over 700 businesses throughout the State of NC as we walk hand in hand with them through the pandemic. We have an outstanding team that is all in on equitable economic development and helping small businesses grow!”

Kevin, the North Carolina small business community thanks you for your commitment to making a SUBSTANTIAL impact!

You can learn more about Kevin Dick and the Carolina Small Business Fund here.

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