CVC microloan program boosts small business startups
A good small business idea with strong planning behind it isn't always a shoe-in for a traditional conventional loan. Five years ago, the Community Vitality Center (CVC), a center of ISU's Department of Economics, led the development of a statewide program called Iowa MicroLoan as a way to kick-start some entrepreneurial small business ideas that might otherwise not have a chance.
"We looked beyond the normal standards constrained by tighter underwriting regulations resulting from the global credit crisis, to see that the person and the quality of their business idea had a workable business and cashflow plan," says Mark Edelman, CVC director.
Iowa Microloan provides loans of $5000-$50,000 at 8 1/4 % APR, and offers ongoing technical assistance in setting up accounting software for the client. Fifty loans have been approved since early 2009, and clients are balanced in terms of gender, rural-urban location, and start-up versus an existing small business. Half are below HUD low income standards, and minorities and persons with disabilities are represented.
Read a success story (page 4) about a MicroLoan recipient in the most recent edition ISU Extension's newsletter Community Matters at: www.extension.iastate.edu/communities/sites/www.extension.iastate.edu/files/communities/vol6issue1.pdf.