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Chicago CU makes its first SBDF loan
CHICAGO (7/15/11)--North Side Community FCU’s new Small Business Development Fund (SBDF) loans provide entrepreneurs the funding to help start a business or expand an existing business. In February, the Chicago-based North Side received funds from the Office of the City Treasurer to offer Chicago-based small businesses micro loans.
Click to view larger image Owners of Rolling Clean Car Wash, Denise Buckman-Morris, from left, and husband Kevin Morris, meet with Tom Laures, North Side Community FCU’s small-business loan officer, after they closed on a $15,000 loan in June to help with marketing, salary and general operation costs for their business. (Photo provided by North Side Community FCU)
An existing business can borrow up to $35,000 while a start-up operation can qualify for up to $15,000. Typically, these loans are used for build out, working capital and acquiring machinery, tools and inventory. The loan term is up to five years at a prime +2% interest rate. As of June, the current rate is 5.25%. Recently, the credit union made its first small-business loan to Denise Buckman-Morris and her husband Kevin Morris, who were almost ready to open their doors after she and her husband invested more than $70,000 into their start-up car-detailing business, Rolling Clean Car Wash. However, they realized they needed some working capital to get the operation off the ground. As members of the North Side in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood for several years, they learned of the new SBDF. In June, they closed on a $15,000 loan to help with marketing, salary and general operation costs for the business, which is located in Chicago’s Austin Community. “This loan allowed us to get a great jump-start on the business and provide some cushion to fall back on,” Buckman said. “It’s a great program because it helps start small businesses when they can’t get help elsewhere.” Buckman said the loan will allow the hiring of 10 full-time and 13 part-time employees, and provide opportunities and training in a community that has high unemployment and a need for business investment. “Job creation and retention are key elements that we look for in a loan application,” says Jennifer Sierecki, manager/CEO of North Side. “Small-business growth is vital in developing and sustaining our communities.” North Side is outreaching to Chicago neighborhood chambers of commerce and community development organizations to help spread the word about the new loan fund. As a collaborating partner, the Jane Adams Small Business Development Center provides technical assistance for prospective borrowers.


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