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UCDD Micro Loans For Small Businesses Gaining Attention

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UCDD Micro Loans For Small Businesses Gaining Attention

The UCDD has put together a micro-loan fund to try and help small businesses get started and off the ground.

UCDD Executive Director Mark Farley said this fund has helped 11 businesses grow with the micro-loan program. Farley said there are now more investment firms looking to put money into the community through loans that can be hard to obtain.

“Many times it’s hard for them to go to the bank and borrow the small amount that they’re needing,” Farley said. “A lot of times they’re encouraged to do that off credit cards and those types of financial tools that you have at your disposal.”

Farley said loans can be up to $30,000 for small businesses that are partnered with Tennessee Tech’s Center for Rural Innovation or The Biz Foundry. He said events like the pandemic, and economic downturns increase the number of start-up small businesses.

“If we have this program in place, I think it’s very well timed to be there,” Farley said. “In case they do want to make that step into owning their own business.”

Farley said micro-loans are more suited for retail businesses and the service industry. He said these loans have attracted interest for future investments.

“In this short amount of time, being able to work with 11 small businesses, to help them get off the floor. That has gotten some recognition and other groups are looking at it, looking at what we’ve done,” Farley said. “We’ve been able to start this program and it’s become very successful in a short amount of time and because of that, we’ve had some groups looking out. There are some investment type firms that are looking to put money back into the community.”

Farley said this interest could grow the money available through the micro-loans.

“We’ve had some contact with those individuals about possibly partnering with them,” Farley said. “To grow that pool of money that we have to make this work.”

However, Farley said the new partnerships have yet to be finalized. He said the micro-loan fund was put in place a little over a year ago.



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