Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

January 3, 2014

New loan program for region's businesses

TRAVERSE CITY — Businesses in the Grand Traverse region now have access to a new loan program for financing working capital and other business needs.

The Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce’s Intermediary Relending Program makes $460,000 available for business needs such as product line expansion, market diversification, machinery and equipment financing.

“It is really aimed at helping small businesses have more access to capital,” said Laura Galbraith, vice president of administration and human resources at the chamber. “It can benefit small businesses going to traditional lenders who may have issues with debt-to-asset ratios or if they are not able to extend themselves further. It can also benefit start-up businesses having issues finding start-up capital.”

The revolving loan fund was created with $400,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and $60,000 from the Traverse City Area Chamber Foundation. The money is for businesses in Antrim, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties. Loans up to $70,000 offer terms of up to seven years for machinery and equipment purchases and up to three years for working capital.

One area business has already utilized the loan fund. William Koucky of Grand Traverse Culinary Oils borrowed $15,000 to help his business produce sunflower and canola oil and high-grade animal meal.

“We are just getting going,” Koucky said Thursday. “It’s helping with getting the raw product and the working capital to get going and hire some people to get the operation off the ground.”

More information on the loan program is available at the chamber’s website at www.tcchamber.org.

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