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    Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission

    L. Norwood & Associates is a dynamic consulting firm specializing in a comprehensive suite of services designed to elevate your organization’s communication, digital presence, and strategic outreach. Our well-rounded team of passionate polymathic experts combines innovative techniques with proven strategies to deliver impactful results.

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    Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission

    PROJECT OVERVIEW:

    The Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission launched the Access Plus Capital Initiative, “Bridging the Financial Justice Gap,” to empower Black, Southeast Asian, and low-income rural small business owners in Central California. Recognizing the need for equitable financial solutions, Access Plus Capital aimed to close the significant gaps in lending and support within these communities. Lanae Norwood Consulting LLC was tasked with developing a comprehensive communications, marketing, and outreach strategy to enhance engagement, relationship building, and funding opportunities for African American small businesses in the Central Valley.

    CHALLENGE:

    Central California’s small business community faced numerous challenges, including systemic disinvestment and a lack of accessible financial resources. African American entrepreneurs, in particular, struggled to navigate a financial landscape marked by historical inequities and a trust gap with traditional banking institutions.

    The Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission needed to effectively reach and engage a diverse audience of small business owners who historically faced barriers to accessing capital, however, they required more communications assets and identified the need for culturally resonant messaging that could authentically connect with the target demographics. Additionally, we aimed to help them overcome internal limitations, such as inconsistent marketing strategies and a heavy reliance on traditional outreach methods in a rapidly digitalizing world.

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    Brand Style Guide DESIGN
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    Marketing Direct Mailers

    OUR APPROACH:

    • Strategic Communications Planning: Developed an authentic brand, marketing campaign, and outreach strategy that included a detailed analysis of the audience’s needs, preferences, and barriers to access. We ensured all content resonated with the target demographics, focusing on systemic racism acknowledgment and APC’s commitment to supporting African American small businesses.
    • Design & Creative Content: Created a suite of engaging visual content, including custom imagery and videos that highlighted the stories of local entrepreneurs, the impact of Access Plus Capital’s support, and their commitment to financial equity.
    • Website Development and Maintenance: Launched a multi-page website equipped with tracking and analytics for optimization that served as a digital hub for information on loans, technical assistance, and Access Plus Capital’s services.
    • Print and Direct Mail: Implemented a targeted direct mail campaign,  complemented by creative design services for branding and collateral, sending out 2,000 pieces monthly over three months to carefully curate lists of potential leads within key demographics and geographies.
    • Digital Ads and Online Marketing: Rolled out a digital marketing campaign across social media and Google platforms designed to increase visibility, generate leads, and drive engagement with the Nano Loan product and other services.
    • Video Production: Produced compelling video content that showcased Access Plus Capital’s commitment to supporting Black and Southeast Asian small business owners, featuring testimonials, success stories, and detailed information on accessing services.

    IMPACT:

    The “Bridging the Financial Justice Gap Initiative” significantly enhanced Access Plus Capital’s ability to connect with and support underrepresented small business owners, successfully developing over 10,000 leads by the projected deadline. By fostering a sense of trust and belonging, the initiative helped bridge the financial equity gap, enhancing APC’s brand recognition and credibility within the African American business community.

    The comprehensive and consistent communications strategy, alongside innovative programming and digital outreach, empowered APC to connect more effectively with entrepreneurs and small business owners, driving forward its mission of financial justice. The initiative’s success underscored the importance of adopting a multi-channel approach to outreach and engagement, particularly when addressing the needs of diverse and historically underserved communities.

    SERVICES:

    • Strategic Communications Planning
    • Design & Creative Content
    • Website Development & Maintenance
    • Print & Direct Mail
    • Digital Ads & Online Marketing
    • Video Production