Last month, we wrote about our meeting with a representative from the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO). He offered a great deal of information about what the organization does to help people develop financial stability. One way NEDCO helps is to offer facilitation of Individual Development Accounts, a 3-to-1 match savings program. Other programs include non-traditional lending services, a business incubator and several classes.
The first class you should take is the Financial Foundations class, which provides a good base of financial literacy. All other classes build on this core class. More advanced classes include the basics of home ownership, offering critical information for first-time home buyers. One of the tenets of the organization is that home ownership is a key to personal financial stability. If you would like to become a home owner, then these classes will help you with the knowledge you need. Personal counseling is included as part of the package.
If you have an idea for a small business start-up, NEDCO has a course track for that as well. These classes cover all the basics of getting started with your idea, from coming up with a business plan to bookkeeping and accounting. They also have an ongoing class with different topics each month to help you fine-tune your knowledge and skills. And, when it comes time to start your business, they can offer loans to cover expenses.
So, how much does all this cost? Several hundred dollars? No. The Financial Foundations class is just $40, and more advanced classes are $50 or $60, which pays for about eight hours of instruction. It is kind of like working at the University and getting the 75% tuition discount — with prices like these, you can’t not take classes. We encourage all members to check into these services. You can contact NEDCO at 541-345-7106 and visit their web site for more information: http://nedcocdc.org