"Without support and funding from Harvest, we would be unable to develop, promote and sustain initiatives to address health issues and work toward a healthier future for Martinsville and Henry County. "
- Barbara Jackman, Executive Director - MHC Coalition for Health and Wellness
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Microloan Program to Begin

November 18, 2003

The West Piedmont Business Development Center (WPBDC) will begin its new microloan program for incubator tenants and graduates on Monday. 

The loan is designed to encourage small business development among incubator tenants or graduates who cannot get funding through traditional lenders.  An applicant's credit, available cash and collateral are the criteria to be considered for loan approval, according to a release from the center.

To be eligible for a loan from the program, the applicant must have been admitted 
to the incubator program and completed the self-employment training program or a similar course approved by the WPBDC.  The two-hour classes will be conducted two nights a week for two weeks at the incubator in uptown Martinsville and cost $20.  Training is open to the public. 

Also, the applicant must prepare a loan application and appear before the WPBDC loan committee for a review.

Loans will range from $500 to $5,000 and exceptions of up to $10,000 may be considered on an individual basis.  The interest rate will be the prime rate quoted at the time of the loan, and they will be awarded for 12 to 36 months, depending on the amount.

The loan funds must be used for business operations, not repayment of debt.
Whenever possible, the assets of the business or its owners will be used as collateral for the loan, and the borrower will provide monthly financial reports to the incubator manager for review by the microloan committee.

Informational sessions have been scheduled for the program.  They will be held at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. Monday and at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

The Harvest Foundation, which is investing proceeds from the sale of Memorial Health Systems in the community, provided a $50,000 grant to fund the microloan program.

For more information, contact WPBDC Manager Lisa Fultz at 638-2523 or lfultz@martinsville.va.us.




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