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Small businesses in Livingston County now have another option to finance their business

iStock_000004074581_SmallThree organizations, CEED Lending, First National Bank and the Livingston County Economic Development Council have come together to support Livingston County small businesses with loans of up to $50,000 that can be used for machinery, equipment, inventory and some working capital.

In 2011, Livingston County launched the county-wide Advantage Livingston strategic growth plan to become a sustainable community. The process included input from more than 800 community leaders, residents and small business owners. The creation of a microlending fund was part of the plan’s five broad strategies.

“Small businesses, through their growth, are the leading growth area of employment, and we want to support them to stay in Livingston County- employment growth being a primary goal of the EDC in Livingston County,” said Scott Griffith, chairman of the Livingston County EDC.

CEED Lending is no stranger to being a loan provider. As a pioneer in the industry, it was one of the first microlenders in the country in 1984 and has provided more than $5.5 Million in loans creating over 1,800 jobs. In addition to the access in small business loans, CEED Lending will also provide a loan officer at First National Bank to meet one-on-one with prospective applicants.

“Establishing a Micro Loan Fund in Livingston County is a great way to show small business owners and entrepreneurs that we welcome them in our community,” said Ron Long, First National Bank’s president and CEO. “First National is happy to help by providing an integral portion of the funding to make the Micro Loan Fund a reality and ultimately help bring jobs to communities across Livingston County.”

“A loan from us comes with more than money,” says Michelle Richards, executive director of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, which operates the CEED Lending program. “Part of the loan relationship is technical assistance, which can range from help with bidding on federal contracts to using social media as part of your marketing strategy.” The loans are open to both men and women.

April Hargraves is the Owner of Bark Town, USA LLC – a dog day care business in Howell. She has taken advantage of the CEED Lending program for expansion. “I have found CEED Lending to be a very helpful resource. The Micro Loan I received has allowed me to expand and grow my business. I highly recommend its services”.

“As part of the SCORE program I have provided free mentoring to over 400 individuals hoping to start local businesses. In many cases their biggest obstacle has been the inability to obtain financing through traditional mean,” said Rick Scofield, who was also a chair with Advantage Livingston. “The microloan program will now allow some of those folks achieve their dream of starting a business.”

Learn more about how you may qualify for up to $50,000. Contact a CEED Lending Loan Officer at 734.677.1400 or tvanappledorn@miceed.org for a free, one-on-one loan orientation at First National Bank.

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