First American Capital Corporation, Inc. debuts new brand and website to celebrate 20 years
(Hales Corners, WI) — After 20 years of providing Native American and other disadvantaged business enterprise entrepreneurs and small businesses with financial and technical assistance, the First American Capital Corporation, Inc. (FACC) is celebrating this milestone by launching a new brand and website. While the identity is updated, the commitment to its clients and partners will be stronger than ever.
Created in 2002 by the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (AICCW) as a revolving loan fund, FACC has shared a website and associated communication systems with that organization since 2014.
As the organization has grown and needs have increased, Gary Mejchar, FACC Co-Executive Director/Development and Acting Director of AICCW, said readers, clients and stakeholders could no longer clearly differentiate between the two non-profit organizations.
“We did not want that to continue with funders and prospective funders and most importantly among those seeking AICCW services or FACC loan products,” he said. “It is time for us to differentiate ourselves from the AICCW, and more clearly delineate respective missions, products and services.”
The new brand features a feather with vibrant, yet natural and warm colors, as well as First American Capital Corporation’s full name and its abbreviation, FACC. The remarkably simple geometric abstraction of the feather works well as it carries a strong upward movement signifying growth and prosperity, along with the varying levels of lending support that FACC provides. These elements combined with the tagline of “We honor your business” conveys trust, respect and commitment to the client’s business endeavors.
“We are sharing the message that FACC is proud to be your partner, help you on your business journey and honor your commitment,” said Bill Beson, FACC’s Co-Executive Director/Finance.
The new website is www.faccwi.org and its social media channels are @FirstAmericanCapitalCorporation on both Facebook and LinkedIn. With a more robust online presence, Mejchar said FACC will change its monthly e-newsletter to a quarterly endeavor.
FACC chose November, which is Native American Heritage Month, to launch its new brand to emphasize that the organization provides ongoing support through its lending programs and technical assistance programs with Native American-owned businesses, Tribal Enterprises and other eligible markets in Wisconsin. Its work helps to benefit the statewide communities in which business owners operate and live.
FACC worked with O’Connor Connective, a strategic communications consultancy in De Pere, on creating its new brand and website.
A shared history
Created in 1991, AICCW leaders began a discussion about the creation of a revolving loan fund (RLF) in the late 1990s to help Native small businesses and entrepreneurs and other Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) facing barriers to obtaining bank loans. In 2002, the FACC was created with seed money from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, which today is known as the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
The FACC became the state’s first certified Native Community Development Financial Institution (NCDFI) in 2004. Three years later, FACC became a designated SBA Microloan Program Intermediary Lender — the first Native American CDFI in the nation to earn that designation, and a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Key Strategic Partner (WEDC-KSP) in 2018.
Becoming an SBA Microlender led FACC to provide a wider set of technical services, including help with business plans, connections to tax and legal resources, and more, said Bill Beson, FACC co-executive director/finance.
“As part of the Microlender program, you must have both pre- and post-loan technical assistance programs in place. Providing that technical assistance is a key component of what we do,” he said. “We help entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed.”
A combination of factors in recent years, including the passing of FACC founder Craig Anderson and a long-time champion and leader of AICCW, the pandemic and an emerging new economic and pandemic recovery reality prompted both organizations to reestablish clear and separate missions, Mejchar said. The AICCW will focus on its chamber members and services and the FACC will focus on financial assistance and technical help to entrepreneurs and small business owners.
“We’re planning on emphasizing the areas of leveraging and bridging AICCW and FACC products and services, to best serve the economic and business development interests of Wisconsin Native Nations and tribal members statewide,” Mejchar said.
First American Capital Corporation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (AICCW) in 2002. FACC provides lending and technical assistance to Native, Tribal and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise businesses and entrepreneurs. FACC was the first in Wisconsin to achieve the Native Community Development Financial Institution certification and is a designated SBA Microlender, the first Native CDFI in the nation to become an SBA Intermediary Lender. For more