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New Micro-Loans Available Through Outside Partnership With UCDD

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
New Micro-Loans Available Through Outside Partnership With UCDD

The UCDD Micro-Loan program has doubled it’s original pool of money to roughly $500,000 since starting.

During 2021, the program has even found a partner outside the region to offer more options to small business startups. UCDD Executive Director Mark Farley said loans up to $50,000 are now available.

“We are marketing their loan programs as well, it might be for a little bit larger operation than what are micro loan originally is intended to do,” Farley said. “So we are partnering with them and they have worked out and been gracious enough to let us loan some of their money in our region.”

Farley said UCDD is not handling that money directly, but are processing applications to get the loans. Farley said there is internal support as well, to keep the program going.

“We started out, we dedicated $250,000 to this loan pool and we’ve already doubled that,” Farley said. “I think we’re around $500,000 and if need be, if we run out of money, the board seems very excited about the program. It is working in such a manner if we need more money, I don’t think there would be a problem with us growing it from our other reserves.”

Farley said that people interested in starting a small business just need to contact UCDD and ask for the micro-loan team. He said this loan program has been able to help a wide range of businesses from coffee shops to wood working facilities.

“I feel like it has been a very beneficial help, in a number of different ways,” Farley said. “Obviously, being able to secure a more traditional type loan instead of putting things on your credit card or borrowing cash from family and friends. This has allowed them to be more structured like a business needs to be but the other good thing about our micro-loan program is that you don’t just get the money we’re loaning to you. We also provide technical assistance through the small business development center and through The Biz Foundry to make sure that not only do they have the financial assets they need but they’re also receiving the technical assistance to start their business in the right way.”

Farley said the micro-loans directly through UCDD are for up to $30,000. He said the time frame to pay back the loans for UCDD is five to seven years.


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