The JP UP Date: JP, Champaign County Loan Fund Launches

Katie ArnoldThe JP UP date

Number 214                      March 17, 2023                                   St. Louis

JP Partners with Champaign County, Champaign County Economic Development Corporation to Launch Microloan Fund

Justine PETERSEN is looking forward to further serving Champaign County with the launch of the Covid-19 Recovery: Champaign County Small Business Microloan Fund. Established by Champaign County and the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) this fund will help disadvantaged small businesses to access capital by way of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. Champaign County committed $250,000 of its ARPA dollars for the initiation of this fund. JP is most grateful to its local partners at Busey Bank and PNC Bank in leveraging that initial commitment to bring the total available funds to $2 million, which will revolve. In recent years JP has expanded its reach throughout Central Illinois, and since September 2022 has an office within the CCEDC. Having this presence will help our team ensure successful facilitation of the fund. JP’s COO, Sheri Flanigan-Vazquez, says of the collaboration “Establishing this loan fund is a testament to the synergy alive and well in the Champaign County small business ecosystem. Justine PETERSEN is both excited and proud to assume an active role in providing local small businesses with access to safe and affordable capital.”

JP Welcomes Kelly Laura as Director of Program and Investments

Justine PETERSEN is excited to introduce Kelly Laura as our Director of Program and Investments! Kelly comes with over 20 years of nonprofit experience, serving in a variety of capacities including grant administration, finance, and leadership roles at organizations such as Craft Alliance and Easterseals Midwest. Interested in being a part of the JP team since a previous partnership while overseeing the Women’s Business Center for Grace Hill Settlement House, Kelly admired the presence and work JP has consistently brought into the community. Nicknamed the “Queen of Execution” over the course of her career, Kelly will be focused on grant management and investor relations, among other duties, at JP. When not at JP, Kelly also works as a REALTOR, in order to promote home ownership to families. Kelly credits her Mom for the ambition, hustle, and resilience she exhibits both personally and professionally. “My Mom has been so influential in me becoming the woman I am today; she raised two girls as a single mother on a teacher’s salary. Despite all the challenges life threw her way, she always figured out a way to make it happen – with little to no help and a positive attitude! I hope to pass the same traits to my daughter and future grandchildren.” We’re happy Kelly’s chosen to share those traits with us at JP as well.

Stories We’re Paying Attention To

East “Safe” St. Louis

Join JP’s Housing Team + Gateway Neighborhood Fund at Upcoming Events

As Spring and Summer approach, Justine PETERSEN’s Housing Team and the Gateway Neighborhood Fund invites interested prospective homebuyers to join them for several different events coming up. Learn how the Gateway Neighborhood Fund can help you purchase, refinance, or rehab a house.

March 29th – Rehabber Roundtable
Taking place from 5:30pm -7:30pm at JP’s Greencubator (1124 Lumiere Place Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63102 – north of the casino), this presentation will be most informative for developers and rehabbers.

April 5th – Homebuying Seminar
Hosted at the Delmar Divine (5501 Delmar Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63112) from 5:30pm – 7:30pm, home buyers can learn about the process and available funding options.

Mortgage Assistance for Illinois Homeowners

As a HUD certified counseling agency, Justine PETERSEN is here to support. We encourage anyone interested in learning more about mortgage assistance and the application process to contact us by emailing More information can also be found here.

Happy Birthday, Marcus and Kristen!

Two of Justine PETERSEN’s most jovial team members celebrated birthdays this week: Business Assistance Team Manager, Marcus Bolden and Central Illinois Asset Building Counselor, Kristen Willis. We hope their days were as kind to them as they are to everyone else.y Birthday, Marcus and Kristen!