Gilbert Acevedo, president of the Northwest Business Development Association dropped by the SNAP Fort Wright building last month with a donation meant to promote the same kind of small business success that NWBDA has been promoting for the past 30 years. Gilbert presented SNAP CEO Julie Honekamp and Financial Access Director Kerri Rodkey with a check for $50,000 toward SNAP’s micro-enterprise program on July 30. The funds will be utilized by Financial Access to provide loans to existing and aspiring small-business owners. “This is an extremely generous contribution from an organization that has been a leader in supporting small business growth throughout our community for three decades,” said Julie. “We are sincerely grateful to NWBDA for its recognition of SNAP Financial Access and our efforts to promote small business development. We look forward to seeing these funds put to wise and effective use by our clients.” Gilbert was joined on July 30 by Larry Vandenburg, vice president of Commercial Banking for Washington Trust Bank in Spokane and Allen Schmelzer, associate planner with Spokane Housing and Human Services. Larry is currently serving as NWBDA board chair while Allen is the secretary/treasurer. “We saw it as prudent to help SNAP help others,” said Gilbert. “They have so many programs that help individuals in a multitude of ways.” A strong supporter of SNAP Financial Access for many years, NWBDA was originally launched by the city of Spokane and is a certified Small Business Association 504 lender serving Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Gilbert said he appreciates the assistance that Financial Access offers to entrepreneurs that may not be able to access a loan from a conventional source. “They’re providing an opportunity to individuals and furthering economic growth,” he said. “We support that.” Story & photos by SNAP’s Community Outreach Specialist, Craig Howard. Originally published: 10.17.13