Louisville Metro Launches Loan Program for Startups
Friday March 3, 2006
Reprinted with permission from Business First of Louisville
By John R. Karman III
Business First Staff Writer
Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government is launching a new loan program geared toward helping startup businesses get off the ground. The Micro Lending Program, which will be administered by the Louisville Metro Development Authority, will offer primary financing for new companies with loans of $10,000 to $30,000.
The loans are aimed at small businesses unable to get a typical bank loan or that have limited resources. "Small businesses sometimes come from very modest beginnings," said Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson. They "obviously are the backbone of our local economy," he said. "Any bit of help that we can give to future employers and revenue-generating companies, I think, is worth an investment."
There is not a minimum number of employees required for small businesses to be eligible to receive a loan through the program. Business owners are required to submit a business plan with their loan application. The Metro Business Development Corp. (METCO), which oversees the Metro Development Authority's various lending programs, will determine which applicants are approved for loans.
The program is newest product for the metro agency. There is no set timeline for small businesses to repay the loans. Payment schedules will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Most loans will be repaid within five years at a rate slightly above prime, according to David Morris, development authority director. Morris said the micro lending program will be the newest product in METCO's revolving loan pool.
Other programs in the pool include: