VICTORIA, Texas - LiftFund, a nonprofit that offers loans for small businesses, is working with the EDA and investing $3 million in the Golden Crescent area that is now available for small business loans.
This partnership and investment could help struggling small businesses that were affected by Hurricane Harvey get back on their feet.
LiftFund hosted a panel discussion and a resource fair at the University of Houston-Victoria for local business owners to learn more about the multi-million- dollar investment available to the surrounding 18 counties and how they can expand their businesses.
The fund works as a revolving loan fund. Which means that "as loans are paid back, they go back into the fund to be available for new loans. So, this RLF will survive with perpetuity helping businesses for decades," explained Jorge Ayala, Regional Director for the Economic Business Administration Office.
Any small business owner is eligible to apply for a loan through LiftFund. The San Antonio based community lender has worked with a wide variety of entrepreneurs from welders, bakers, dress makers, pet shops, coffee shops, restaurant owners, and more.
Entrepreneurs can apply for loans both large and small; depending on the financial goals of the business.
"In this program, they're going to be able to borrow up to $250,000, as low as $1,000," said Laura Lealestrada, Market Manager for LiftFund in Coastal Bend counties. "We have an interest rate as low as 4%. It's an introductory rate that we're going to be offering to people in the Golden Crescent area through March 2020.
Miranda Wallace, owner and founder of Gluten-Freedom Bakery, shared her story of how working with LiftFund afforded her the opportunity to reach more of her customers.
Beginning in 2014 Wallace started the bakery in her home under Cottage Law, which allows individuals to sell certain foods out of their home without a manufacturer's license. "And in 2017 I partnered up with LiftFund and was able to move into my first commercial kitchen. So now I am inside of the Victoria Regional Airport and I deliver products around town and in Goliad and in Cuero," shared Wallace.
Even after her business was affected by Hurricane Harvey Wallace said that LiftFund reached out to her to see what they could do to help her business recover.
"We've been able to come out here and meet with business owners who were negatively impacted by [Hurricane Harvey] and multiple customers who have not been made whole. We want to come back to them and say we're here, we want to help you, and here's what we have access to, to help you with that capital," Lealestrada said.
To apply business owners can visit LiftFund.com Or call the regional office at 361-834-8428.
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