Microloans Available for Small Businesses
Entrepreneurs in northeast Iowa now have another financing option to launch their ideas. The Northeast Iowa Food & Farm Coalition, or NIFF Coalition, was recently approved as an affiliate of Iowa Microloan.
“Iowa MicroLoan was created to help Iowans realize their goal of achieving business success when there is a solid idea, team, and commitment to make it work,” says Dan Lane, Iowa State University Extension Program Coordinator. “Iowa MicroLoan was created for those microbusinesses that are considered on the fringe of risk-bearing capacity for most traditional financial institutions.”
The NIFF Coalition is one of six Iowa Microloan affiliates in the state. The NE IA affiliate is focused on loans to agriculture entrepreneurs especially those interested in local food production, however all parties interested in the loan program are encouraged to apply.
“We are excited to bring this financing option to northeast Iowa,” said Lane. “We heard stories about farmers being denied loans for small farm equipment and other capital purchases for local food production because that is a new type of farming for our area. Iowa Microloan is a good fit for those situations.”
Iowa MicroLoan provides a source of capital for those seeking a direct loan of $5,000 to $35,000 or a co-financing arrangement of up to $105,000. Applicants must have applied for a loan at a traditional credit source and have been denied before either of these opportunities are available.
One unique feature of the Iowa Microloan program is that it offers a technical assistance plan of work tailored to the needs of the business. Successful applicants receive a technical assistance grant up to $500 per year to assist in the cost of accessing technical assistance resources and have access to networks of microbusiness development mentors, coaches, and professionals.
The northeast Iowa affiliate is a synergistic combination of three partners using their resources to benefit the region. Iowa State University Extension and the NIFF Coalition along with the Northeast Iowa Business Network and Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission have combined their resources and talents to spearhead the program.
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