Northern Michigan, alternative lending resources

Small Business Administration (SBA): usually administered by banks and financial institutions, SBA funds can be used to leverage bank funding, providing the bank with protection if the loan defaults. The bank handles the paperwork and approval for the loan. http://www.sba.gov/mostrequesteditems/CON_FAQ1.html

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): The USDA has a number of loan programs geared to agricultural based business and businesses located in rural counties (such as Northern Michigan): http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/bpdir.htm

Credit Unions: Many credit unions offer financing for smaller business operations. This can be a suitable alternative to bank financing

Northern Initiatives: A microloan lender operated out of Marquette, Michigan, handling loan proposals lacking the parameters considered by banks and other commercial lenders. http://www.northerninitiatives.com

Northern Shores Loan Fund: Loan funding ranges from $500 – $15,000 for needs such as working capital, inventory and equipment purchases, as well as start-up expenses. Based out of Petoskey, Michigan. http://www.northernshoresloanfund.org/

Utopia Foundation: A new micro-loan fund for start-up and established businesses that are seeking to borrow $50,000 and under.

Agapia Fund: A loan fund for smaller start-up businesses operations. Lend in amounts of $1000 and under.  Located in and serving the Traverse City area

Peer-to-peer lenders: An online company that pairs people seeking loan funds, with individuals that are interesting in investing money. The web serves as a portal of posting loan proposals and having people bid on them. Amounts up to $30,000 can potentially be financed based on based on credit score, home ownership, and a business plan executive summary. www.prosper.com    www.lendingclub.com

IDA Accounts: Saving accounts that have the saved money matched with up to $10,000. Based on household need and income. http://www.michigan.gov/mshda/0,1607,7-141-45866_45869-177685–,00.html

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