Many small businesses can’t qualify for a small business loan from a traditional local bank. A bad credit record disqualifies many. Lending standards have tightened. Some small towns are limited by local banks that don’t support small business; others don’t have locally-owned banks any more. The good news is that alternatives are available. We’ll be profiling alternatives to traditional small business loans in this ongoing series on financing. This week: local loan funds.
|Local businesses in Momence, Illinois,
used a local revolving loan fund
to renovate their historic buildings.
Photo by USDAgov.
Local loan funds are targeted by geographic area. Basically, you have to be located in the right area to get one.
When we profiled our first alternative small business loans, Chatham County (North Carolina) Economic Development Corporation replied on Twitter that they have their own local program, the Chatham Loan Fund. [@ChathamEDC] In my area of Oklahoma, small businesses can look to Northwestern Electric Cooperative’s Economic Development Loan fund.
Many local programs like this were funded through USDA Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant programs.
How do you find these in your area? You have to search, sometimes relentlessly. Look at your local economic development groups and committees. Check with your Chamber of Commerce. Ask your utilities, especially rural cooperatives. And remember to look at neighboring bigger towns; they may cover your area, too.
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- Tiny businesses in storage sheds: a rural economic development tool - March 19, 2017
- Your secret advertising tool: empty buildings downtown as billboards - March 13, 2017
- What businesses work in towns under 500 - March 6, 2017
- Rural business idea: renting wilderness offices - February 27, 2017
- How to start a big business in a small town, when the big dream seems out of reach - February 13, 2017
- My trends reports and more guest articles on other sites - January 23, 2017
- Innovative Rural Business Models spread opportunity in small towns - January 9, 2017
- When Google Maps has your small business listed in the wrong place - January 2, 2017
- Don’t wait until retirement to feature your people - December 26, 2016