A call is out to local small business owners to apply for thousands of dollars in available funding to help your venture grow. Northern Maine Development Commission is seeking applicants for its microloan program. Shawn Cunningham reports on a few changes that make the program more affordable for entrepreneurs to take advantage.
Its business as usual in downtown Caribou. And NMDC officials want to expand on that with even more businesses opening up shop HERE and throughout the county. NMDC Director of Business Finance Duane Walton says the USDA microloan program is a great way to make that happen.
Duane Walton is NMDC Director of Business Finance and says “We like to deal with sustainable businesses whether it be a new one we’d like to help be sustainable or an existing one we can help be more secure and sustainable so they’re there year after year.
Walton says local businesses can for ask for up to 150 thousand dollars. In total, there is 675 thousand dollars available in the microloan program. To date, NMDC has reviewed microloan applications from thirteen different businesses.
Walton says all kinds of small businesses are encouraged to apply for a microloan. He says don’t sell your idea or business short on funds that can help it grow into a successful venture.
Walton adds “some of them need may need five thousand dollars for marketing some might need seven thousand dollars to help them with working capital, that’s what this program is really about.”
And he says recently, some new changes have been added to get even more businesses to apply for funding.
“For loans of ten thousand or less we’ve waived the title insurance we also cut the origination fee down we generally charge one percent on all of our, microloan program its one percent or a hundred dollars so w’re trying to make it more affordable for the small business.”
Walton says enrollment into the program is ongoing. He says applicants are also paired with a business mentor to help the venture succeed and be able to pay the loan back within six years. Anyone interested can contact Walton at NMDC.