Micro Finance Program
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The WBDC knows that access to capital is critical for small business success. In order to provide this important resource, the WBDC is pursuing availability of alternative sources of capital, in particular debt capital, and has recently been accepted and certified as a lender by the Chicago Microlending Institute (CMI). CMI was initiated by Accion, the City of Chicago and Citibank.
As a core member of CMI, the WBDC has been certified to make loans of up to $25,000 with this new program beginning December 1, 2012. Loans are available for new and existing small businesses in the City of Chicago and targeted towards businesses operating in low to moderate income communities.
If you have not been able to obtain traditional bank financing, read the eligibility checklist below and submit your application today. Businesses, including start-ups, may be eligible regardless of time in business, size of business and/or industry. Gambling, firearms, retail liquor and pornography are not eligible.
- Do you operate or plan to operate your business in the City of Chicago?
- Are you in an industry that does not involve real estate development, not-for-profit organization, multi-level marketing or lending?
- If you are a start-up business, do you have an alternate source of income?
- Have you invested savings or personal equity in your business?
- Are you current on all personal and business bills? If not, is there a payment arrangement in place?
- Are you prepared to offer collateral for the loan?
- Are you and your business free of active bankruptcies, outstanding tax liens and delinquent child support?
- Are you over 21 years of age? Applicants over 18 may still be eligible but will require a cosigner.
- Do you have a formal or informal business plan?
- Do you have a license to operate a business in the City of Chicago?
If you answered “yes” to the 10 questions above, you may be eligible for a loan through the WBDC Micro Finance Program.
To apply, please download and complete the WBDC Micro Finance Loan Application. Email your completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone will contact you to schedule an appointment to review your application.
The WBDC, Accion Chicago and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives are members of the Chicago Microlending Institute (CMI). All CMI members utilize identical loan qualifications guidelines. Loan applicants will not be eligible to receive loans from more than one CMI member.