The communities we work with love these loans as well. When the loan is paid back, the money is available to help more businesses, without the hiring requirements. The business owners are helping their own community just by making their loan payments.
The Community Business Loan Fund is a great example of partners on multiple levels working together to support communities. Involvement starts at the federal level and goes right through to neighborhoods. Among our partners:
• U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development
• Michigan Economic Development Corp.
• Local economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, banks and governments
It’s that last group that is so vital, of course. The people who live in a community know what the community needs; the rest of us make it happen.
The (newly renamed) Community Business Loan Fund, like everything Northern Initiatives does, serves businesses that generally don’t qualify for traditional financing. These are really good loans, with low interest rates and great terms. They’re also specific to certain communities, spread throughout the state, from Iron County to Coldwater. Because the funds originate from the federal government, there are a few regulations, including job creation.
The 20 communities we work with love these loans. When the loan is paid back, the money is available to help more businesses, without the hiring requirements. The business owners are helping their own community just by making their loan payments.
We saw this in real time with our Upper Peninsula Community Business Loan Fund, available in 12 communities. The money from loans that were paid back helped us make Paycheck Protection Program loans to 36 UP small businesses.
The money in the Community Business Loan Fund can be used for:
• Equipment purchases
• Working capital
• Expansions for new or existing businesses
• Transition of ownership or acquisition
Northern Initiatives has loaned Community Business Loan funds to restaurants, manufacturers, food co-ops, contractors, retail shops, mechanics and landscapers – in other words, all the wonderful businesses that help communities thrive.