Finding money to jump-start a farm related business is about to get a easier. The Traverse City Utopia Foundation is close to establishing a loan fund to address the needs of micro-businesses in the Grand Traverse Region.
The new fund will begin with seed money from the Small Business Administration, loaning amounts between $1000 and $50,000 to start-up and emerging farm ad value-added food operations.
The idea is to take care of gap amounts that many traditional banking institutions are not in a position to lend. Applicants will be screened like a regular lending institution, but with parameters that will take into consideration the specific needs of an agricultural business.
“We’re adressing the needs of many farm related businesses that have recently experienced dificulty in obtaining start-up and operating capital from local banks.” says the Utopia Foundation’s Marilyn Fitzgerald. Utopia hopes to have its paperwork and operation ready to loan funds later this year.
Another new Traverse City based loan fund was recently established for loan amounts of $1000. The Agape Fund offers peer lending resources to micro-businesses in Grand Traverse County and began lending operations earlier this year.