Pima Leasing Looks to Diversify Access to Entrepreneurs

Emma Hughes

Gila River Indian News


Pima Leasing & Financing Corporation (PLFC) is an economic development corporation that exists, according to its vision statement, “To provide economic diversity for the Gila River Indian Community” by managing land transactions and by cultivating entrepreneurs and other Community-based businesses.


PLFC offers business loans to GRIC members whose Community-based businesses have been in operation for at least two years and who can provide referrals from local lenders for startups or non-Community-based businesses.


PLFC also provides access to information and resources that are free or low-cost, such as the Arizona Commerce Authority’s “Small Business Bootcamp,” a statewide initiative designed to provide support for those interested in starting a business. For information about online workshops offered through the ongoing “Startup Together” conference, visit startuptogetheraz.com.


“From assisting with business plans to providing access, our staff are excited to help the Community grow,” said Teresa Mandelin, PLFC’s Executive Director. She joined the organization in September and expressed her excitement and gratitude to be able to work with the Community. 


Mandelin, an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, has over 30 years of experience in commercial banking. She has specialized in providing small businesses access to capital for the past 20 years. 


“We want to help our entrepreneurs in this Community,” said Mandelin. “We’ll develop a nurtured job growth within the Community itself (and) more jobs in the Community by helping our small businesses startup and grow.”


“They have just been so, so good, so helpful,” said Patricia Miles, a GRIC member from District 6. Miles contacted PLFC to assist her. She said they’ve been very helpful in mentoring and giving her the tools and support, “They really helped assisting me with my ideas and possible business plans.”


Community members can contact PLFC and request assistance with business planning and consultation. For additional information on Business Services and Resources, contact Seth Rich at (520) 796-2454, ext. 223. For information on Business Loans, contact Brian Moreno at (520) 796-2454 ext. 226.