Equipping Latinos And Other DC And Baltimore Metro Area Residents With Skills And Financial Tools To Create A Better Future For Their Families And Communities

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LEDC in the News

LEDC in the News (18)

Wednesday, 03 January 2018 11:49


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On behalf of our Board, staff, and the communities we serve, we wish you felices fiestas and a very happy new year filled with joy and happiness! We are honored to have had your support and partnership this year as we worked to empower the Latino and other economically marginalized communities in the region. 


While we are thankful for the opportunities we were given this past year, our communities faced and continue to face many challenges. We are hopeful that our communities will rise up to reverse attacks on: Dreamers; the lawful economic contributions of our Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Honduran neighbors; US territories populated by American citizens and communities of color; and tax regulations that protect everyday American citizens and families.


We are also inspired to have merged with Empowered Women International-EWI this year to provide intensive and woman-tailored business training to female entrepreneurs. There has never been a more poignant time for lifting up women's voices and leadership than now.


This coming year LEDC is committed to an even greater engagement in protecting and advancing the communities we serve.


We encourage you to do the same.


Please be sure to connect with us on  FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to get an inside look at our work and the latest economic information for our region. You can find us by searching for "ledcmetro." 


We hope this holiday season and new year are full of paz y amor for you and yours. 






Best wishes,



Marla Bilonick

Executive Director

Tuesday, 28 November 2017 11:33

Donate to LEDC this Giving Tuesday

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Please consider supporting LEDC by making a donation via our website.

Your contribution will help us continue our work to ensure that the DC-MD-VA economies remain vibrant, accessible, and prosperous.


What is #GivingTuesday? 

Giving Tuesday is a global campaign to remind everyone, amidst all the shopping, to support the non-profit organizations that strengthen their communities. 

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the president's decision to repeal DACA-the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This announcement puts roughly 800,000 young adults at risk of deportation---individuals who were brought to the United States by their parents and without a "say."

Because this decision stands to impact members of the community that the Latino Economic Development Center-LEDC was built to serve; we wanted to share some facts about the impact this decision could have on our country. While LEDC holds paramount the moral imperative behind opposing this decision; there are also economic considerations that bear no political charge and that are worth noting.

  • The median age of DACA recipients is 22. DACA recipients pay taxes out of their paychecks to their local, state, and federal governments and are in the prime of their working lives. According to a study by, 91% of DACA recipients are employed. All have passed criminal background checks.
  • According to the CATO Institute, repealing DACA and deporting DACA recipients would result in a potential $60 billion loss in tax revenue to the federal government.
  • Discontinuing DACA is forecasted to produce a $280 billion hit to economic growth over 10 years.
  • The economic impact would be felt unevenly across the country based on the concentration of DACA participants living in different states. For example, California, with 188,000 DACA workers would suffer a GDP loss of $11.3 billion per year, Texas would lose $6.1 billion in GDP annually and North Carolina would lose $1.9 billion a year.
  • LEDC's regional areas of focus would lose the following in annual GDP:
    • District of Columbia $43 million
    • Maryland $480 million
    • Virginia $676 million

Regardless of where one might stand on immigration issues, this data should not be eliminated from discussions around the role that immigrants play in today's economy.

LEDC stands firmly in our belief that our nation should be one that welcomes diversity and provides refuge to people who are suffering from political, social, and economic injustice in their countries of origin. The clients we support represent all walks of life. Some were born here, others were not. All share the desire to make their dreams a reality. We partner with them to build assets, invest in their communities, and contribute financially to the economy. While the moral imperative to welcome immigrants is not shared by all, the economic arguments point definitively to the positive contributions that immigrants make to our country.

Monday, 28 August 2017 12:16

LEDC & EWI: A Strategic Alliance

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LEDC & EWI: A Strategic Alliance 

We're excited to announce that long-time partners Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and Empowered Women International (EWI) are merging. With complementary target populations, programs, and services, LEDC and EWI have identified an opportunity to build upon respective successes by joining forces to serve more clients with a broader range of programs and support.Following the merger, EWI will become a program under the LEDC umbrella, maintaining its name and high caliber of client service.

Since 1991, LEDC has offered small business development, microlending, homeownership, and affordable housing preservation programs for low to moderate income Latinos and other underserved communities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Since 2002, EWI has provided entrepreneurial training, mentoring, and ongoing coaching in the Washington DC area, helping immigrant, refugee and socially and economically challenged women turn their creative or cultural assets, artistic abilities, and skills into successful businesses.

What are the benefits of the merger?

The primary beneficiaries of the merger are the clients that EWI and LEDC serve. They will gain a wider array of services and resources as they work to launch or grow small businesses in the communities we support.

When announcing the merger at EWI's 15th Anniversary celebration last month, LEDC Executive Director Marla Bilonick shared how LEDC's mission of helping individuals build and preserve assets is key to building family wealth and economic stability. EWI's Executive Director, Sarah Bodley added that by combining EWI's entrepreneurial training with LEDC's program pillars, we will have a powerhouse of services to offer residents across the DMV area.

LEDC will gain EWI's unique program that is a woman-focused suite of rooted in entrepreneurial training called Entrepreneur Pathways for Women.  The development of business skills amongst a cohort of women also builds support networks that strengthen the community.  Existing EWI workshops and classes will augment LEDC's current entrepreneurial coaching, training, and lending offerings.

EWI's present clients will be able to seamlessly access LEDC's bilingual one-on-one business coaching and micro-loan financing of up to $50,000 for their business ventures.  As well, EWI will be able to provide their intensive and multi-session training services to LEDC's present customers.

Through this merger, entrepreneurs in the DC Metro region will have access to LEDC and EWI services via physical locations in Washington, D.C.; Montgomery County, Baltimore City, Fairfax County, and Arlington County. By combining forces our physical footprint and community reach expands significantly.

When will the merger happen? 

We are proceeding with the legal and organizational restructuring necessary to effectuate the merger by September 30th, 2017.  During the time leading up to the merger, LEDC and EWI will continue normal programs and services without interruption. We look forward to continuing to deliver even more value to our clients following the merger.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, or for more information, please contact:

Marla Bilonick

Executive Director of LEDC
641 S St. NW, Washington DC 20001


Sarah Bodley

Executive Director of EWI

320 S. Henry St, Alexandria VA 22314


Friday, 28 October 2016 10:33

LEDC's Visionaries Program Screening

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The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) will be profiled in the upcoming season of Visionaries, the award-winning public television series, hosted by acclaimed actor Sam Waterston of HBO's The Newsroom and formerly of Law & Order. Visionaries will begin airing on PBS stations across the country in the fall of 2016.

Selected from hundreds of nonprofits nationwide LEDC is a leading organization driving economic and social advancement of low to moderate-income Latinos and other underserved communities in the D.C. and Baltimore Metropolitan Areas. The program featuring LEDC highlights examples of economic survival and sustainability in the communities LEDC serves as well as for the organization itself. "We at LEDC were so excited to partner with the Visionaries team on producing this important depiction of our work. Sustainability is a challenge for our neighborhoods and for our organization and this piece demonstrates that in a poignant way across all of our programs and markets," said LEDC Executive Director, Marla Bilonick.

LEDC will be screening the Visionaries program that features their organization on Wednesday, November 9th at the WeWork Wonderbread Factory/LEDC Offices at 641 S Street NW Washington, DC 20001.

The screening is part of LEDC's 3-part celebration of their 25th Anniversary and will include a panel made up of individuals who helped shape the organization.

Light appetizers by WAPA CAFE BOUTIQUE and beverages will be provided.
Friday, 21 October 2016 14:46

Rob Wohl, at the Preservation Panel

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Our Tenant Organizer, Rob Wohl, at the Preservation Panel
Friday, 21 October 2016 14:40

#LineaDirecta #SaludFinanciera

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Nuestra Directora de Vivienda, Walda Yon, en la grabación del programa de#LineaDirecta

Friday, 21 October 2016 13:42

Baltimore's Minority and Women-Owned Business Award

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We are so honored to have received Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's Minority and Women-Owned Business Award last night!

Thank you so much!!!

#Baltimore #MD #SmallBiz

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