Redevelopment agency begins small business lending
About $1 million in loan funds are available to help small businesses in Reno.
The Reno Redevelopment Agency last week launched the Reno Opportunity Growth Fund for existing or start-up businesses.
The program is available city-wide, not just within the boundaries of the two redevelopment districts in Reno.
The loans currently carry a 4 percent interest rate, although that’s likely to go up as interest rates continue to rise, said James Graham, the economic development manager of the redevelopment agency.
Eligible businesses can borrow up to $50,000 for up to six years. The loan limit is $100,000 for companies that can demonstrate growth.
The money can be used for working capital, tenant improvements, machinery and equipment purchases, and acquisition of land and buildings. It can’t be used to refinance existing debt.
The redevelopment agency is accepting loan applications through April 10. (For eligibility criteria, contact Graham at 334-2077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Graham said the program seeks to continue the economic diversification of the city, both inside and outside of the area covered by the city’s redevelopment districts.
Small businesses such as those targeted by the Reno Opportunity Growth Fund generate more jobs and grow more quickly than larger companies, he said.
The initial revolving loan fund was established with federal community development funds received by the city.
Graham said executives of the redevelopment agency hope to increase the amount of capital available for small-business lending as it moves forward on a project is calls “The Catalyst.”
In that project, a new nonprofit will channel capital from commercial banks into assistance to small businesses, incentives to attract major employers into the downtown area and creation of affordable and market-priced housing downtown.
Organization of The Catalyst is ongoing, Graham said last week.
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