County Establishing Micro-Loan Fund to Assist Small Businesses
(Woodbury, NJ) - The Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders plan to adopt a measure at their meeting that will establish a Small Business Revolving Micro-Loan Fund. The Micro-Loan fund will utilize the federally funded Community Development Block Grant funding and create short term financing.
"Tightened credit markets and reduced access to capital have really hurt many small businesses. Owners are finding it difficult to continue operations, let alone grow in this economic market. The establishment of a Gloucester County Revolving Micro-Loan Fund can help with the development and expansion of small business in the county," said Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney.
"The County's participation is an excellent way to stimulate job creation and retention and provide incentives for small business growth. This program will help supplement financing in this tight credit market. By working with banking partners and filling in the gaps in the capital market, we will be able to help leverage private sector dollars to expand the amount of capital available to small business. Improving downtown viability will be a big step toward revitalizing economic conditions in the county," Sweeney stated.
Director Sweeney said that the Gloucester County Department of Economic Development is routinely fielding requests from small business owners looking to expand their operations and are in need of funding that traditional banks are not loaning in this economy.
"We don't have anything like this to offer our small businesses right now and they really need this type of tool to make it in today's economy," said Freeholder Joseph A. Brigandi Jr.
Brigandi said it is the intent of the program to provide an avenue for established small to medium-sized businesses to plug gaps in financing of working capital or purchase of fixed assets and equipment and for start-up operations that have little or no-chance to obtain conventional financing in today's market.
"The loan fund will be established to help with the retention of jobs in the small business community in downtown areas, it will help unlock private capital to those individuals and businesses that are not able to obtain traditional bank financing and it will promote entrepreneurship and diversity of economy in the County," said Freeholder Brigandi, liaison to the Department of Economic Development.
The Revolving Micro-Loan Fund (RMLF) will be established under the Community Development Block Grant funding to provide financing to primarily established businesses looking to expand in targeted low to moderate income areas and downtowns; Woodbury, Glassboro, Clayton, Westville, Paulsboro, Swedesboro, Pitman, and National Park. Loans may be given for short-term and permanent working capital; furniture and fixtures; machinery and equipment; new construction; façade and building renovations; rental assistance; interest write down on SBA or other loans. Financing packages could range from $1000 to $35,000. The RMLF will not compete with private sector financing.
"The goal of the program is to work with our community banking partners to fill the gaps in the capital market and not compete head-to-head with their finance offerings. The RMLF will complement, rather than supplant private sector financing," said Freeholder Brigandi.