Michael McCraw, the longtime CEO of the California Southern Small Business Development Corp., announced recently that he plans to step down from his post.

McCraw has held the job since 1989.

A search committee led by board member Michel Anderson will look for his replacement, according to the organization.

Cal Southern, based in Liberty Station, is one of 11 state-funded loan guarantee programs which have their headquarters in California’s more populous counties. Small businesses that cannot qualify for a conventional loan can fall back on California Southern, having that organization assume part of the financial risk.

Over the past five years, Cal Southern has helped guarantee more than 600 loans — totaling more than $56 million — for businesses throughout San Diego County.

In 2009 the state trust fund backing California Southern was temporarily cut. However, McCraw had advised the organization to keep reserve funds, so California Southern was able to stay in business until funding was restored in 2010.

— SDBJ Staff Report