Black Hawk County Microloan Program

Purpose:  To provide access to small loans, business training, and coaching to entrepreneurs and small business owners from black indigenous persons of color (BIPOC), minoritized populations, and underserved low-income areas to address gaps in local access to capital, promote equal opportunity, and inclusive economic development for greater community vitality.
The Black Hawk County Microloan Program (BHCMP) will establish loan programs to provide access to microloans, business seminars, one-on-one coaching, opportunities to establish or repair credit, and networking events for small business entrepreneurs, coaches, and mentors.  BHCMP provides a second look at workable business plans for entrepreneurs who have been denied a conventional loan.

The Black Hawk County Microloan Program (BHCMP) will create an intentional culture of collaboration and complementarity with other local small business development programs, expertise, and resources so that programs are efficiently and effectively delivered to address the identified gaps in serving the needs of the underserved target populations in the community.

Elevator Statement:  The Black Hawk County Microloan Program (BHCMP) offers microloans of $1,000 to $50,000 and coaching assistance to small business entrepreneurs, targeting Black Indigenous Persons of Color (BIPOC) and minoritized populations who do not have access to conventional business loans.

Advisory Committee Members

Advisory committee members meet regularly throughout the year and review applications for funding during the interim. Committee members volunteer their time and talents because of their commitment to supporting small businesses in Black Hawk County. Current members include Eric Johnson, Jason Kuehner, Philip Nash, Nilvia Reyes Rodriguez, Angie Weekley, ReShonda Young, and Sherman Wise. Contact 319-234-6811

Frequently Asked Questions about BHC MicroLoans

Who can qualify? Applicants need to be a legal resident of Iowa over the age of 18, the business needs to be located in Black Hawk County, a credit denial email or letter from a conventional lender is required and the business should employ no more than 10 full-time employees.
What is a microloan? A microloan is a small business loan typically issued by a nonprofit microfinance organization that also provides coaching assistance to help an entrepreneur start or sustain a small business.
What can a microloan be used for? Microloans can be used for working capital, supplies, inventory, equipment, training, marketing, fixtures, furniture, or other items necessary to operate a small business. Microloans can not be used to pay down existing debt or to purchase real estate.
What comes with the microloan? If approved, the microloan can be used for the start-up, expansion, and/or refinancing of small business entrepreneurs. Technical assistance will be provided through quarterly visits, coaching, or mentoring. Technical assistance grant will be provided to each loan recipient for pre-approved expenses of up to $250.00 to assist with continued training, access to additional resources, or other business needs.
Where do I apply? You can download the application and review additional information at
When can I apply? Applications can be made at any time of the year as there is no deadline to apply.
When will I find out if approved? Once an application is received it will be shared with the Black Hawk County Microloan Review Committee.  The Review Committee meets monthly but may make decisions during the interim.  If approved for consideration by the local committee, the application will be forwarded to Iowa Microloan for review.  A borrower should plan on a review process that may take a month to complete. 
How can microloans impact my credit? Microloan payments are reported to the major credit bureaus to provide borrowers an opportunity to improve their credit scores. Defaulting in a microloan will negatively affect your credit score. Paying back the microloan on time and in full can help improve your credit score.