FSC First is dedicated to nurturing partnerships with small and minority-owned businesses within our community. Established in 1978, we have facilitated millions in loans, aiding businesses in search of financial support and guidance. We understand and value the unique privilege of assisting minority-owned businesses, which frequently face challenges accessing resources.

We are proud to spotlight an impressive FSC First success story that exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship and empowerment. Meet 21st Century Expo Group, Inc (21stCEG), the nation’s leading minority women-owned and operated general service contractor in the event industry, known for its integrated events solutions for live events, trade shows, and corporate displays. 21stCEG is one of the many businesses that have received support through FSC First’s unique loan programs.

In the wake of a substantial industry downturn in 2008, 21stCEG decided to liquidate its equipment inventory and leave its warehouse location. To pave a path forward, FSC First extended financial support to 21stCEG, allowing them to transition the former warehouse into “The Campus,” a multifaceted sports, health, and wellness facility.

Reflecting on the trials of that period, 21stCEG CEO Ray MacFarland expresses, “The big challenge, as with most businesses, was being able to identify banks to help fund a small startup. We were blessed to meet Shelly Gross-Wade (formerly) of FSC First.”

MacFarland continues, “We developed new relationships that allowed us to get back on our feet. FSC First was there.” MacFarland explains how building relationships within the community is integral to securing continuous support that fosters growth and transformation.

Now, The Campus provides academic enrichment tailored for student-athletes, setting them up for success in school and in life. The Campus currently houses Play Inc., Oxon Hill Boxing, and has facilities for basketball, volleyball, football, and track. These diverse amenities present numerous opportunities for individual growth and development.

“We are incredibly grateful for the invaluable support and resources provided by FSC First,” MacFarland shares. “Their commitment to fostering local businesses has truly made a significant impact on the growth and success of 21st Century Expo Group, Inc. Their comprehensive financial assistance and expert guidance have enabled us to expand our operations and reach new heights within our industry. We highly recommend FSC First to any business seeking to thrive and excel in today’s competitive market.”

To learn more about FSC First programs, click here.

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