Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the launch of the Emerging Business Loan Fund which will make $12 million in affordable loans available to support small business, boost the local economy and create jobs.
“Not only do small businesses help keep our world famous neighborhood merchant corridors active and vibrant, they also help boost our local economy,” said Mayor Lee. “The Emerging Business Loan Fund will allow entrepreneurs and small businesses to secure the capital they need to innovate, grow their business and succeed.”
The Emerging Business Loan Fund (EBLF) program expands accessible financing to businesses that cannot access capital from traditional sources and institutions. The EBLF focuses on lending to entrepreneurs in communities and growing industries such as manufacturing, the apparel and the accessory sectors; while creating jobs for low income individuals. Qualifying businesses can apply for financing for a variety of investments including upgrades to equipment such as freezers, refrigerators, display cases, coolers and boilers, administrative costs such as permits and licenses and marketing, staffing, real estate and space expansion or purchase, and to other physical improvements to the establishment.
The City selected the Bay Area Small Business Finance (BASBF), a non-profit community-based lender committed to delivering flexible affordable financing to businesses, to administer the EBLF loan program. It offers low interest financing, 50,000 - $1,000,000, to businesses. The program leverages federal dollars from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Section 108 program to capitalize the $12,000,000 loan fund. This is part of the Mayor’s Invest in Neighborhoods program, an initiative to create cleaner, safer and more economically vibrant neighborhoods in 25 commercial corridors in San Francisco.
“Bay Area Small Business Finance is a 35-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to providing capital to Bay Area small businesses unable to obtain loans from banks,” said Bay Area Small Business Finance CEO Jacob Singer. “Based on recent demand from San Francisco businesses for this loan product, we know there is significant unmet need for flexible financing. Our partnership with the City will enable us to get more loans funded that otherwise would not be financed.”
The EBLF program builds upon the success of the City-sponsored microloan program, the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). This program was launched in July of 2009 with the intention of creating jobs and increasing access to capital for businesses. The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) in partnership with Working Solutions continue to successfully administer and recapitalize the loan fund. Today, more than $1.3 million in loans have been given to 51 San Francisco small businesses and those owned by minority and women, generating more than 140 jobs. The RLF program provides eligible San Francisco small business owners an opportunity to borrow up to $50,000 with a fixed interest rate that ranges from 4-6 percent and a five year term.
“The Revolving Loan Fund made the process of getting a loan much easier by providing me the capital to open my very own café and employ four people,” said North of Panhandle’s Oasis Café Owner Taddesse Haile. “This café has been a dream and because of this support, I was able to secure a second loan to expand and build out a kitchen so that I can continue to provide Ethiopian fare to the community.”
San Francisco is also celebrating the business community with the 9th annual Small Business Week (May 13-18, 2013), which honors and recognizes the more than 85,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs for their innovation and contribution to the City. This year’s theme for Small Business Week is “Small Business: Shaping our Communities,” and includes a series of educational and networking events designed to inspire, educate and connect the members of the business community.
For more information about Small Business Week, go to: www.sfsmallbusinessweek.com
Interested business owners and entrepreneurs can get more information about the EBLF and RLP through the OEWD Invest In Neighborhoods initiative, go to: http://www.oewd.org/IIN.aspx