April 2012

 April 2012

Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund – Building Brighter Futures through Small Business 
Are you looking for a small business loan, but have been turned down by a bank due to a bad credit score, lack of operating history, insufficient collateral or other issues out of your control? The Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund can help.
 
The Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund (UMLF) is a private, non-profit community development financial institution (CDFI) whose mission is to provide financing and management support to entrepreneurs in start-up and existing firms that do not have access to traditional sources of capital. As such, we help people who 1) are just starting and don’t have an operating history, 2) don’t have enough collateral for a traditional loan and/or 3) have had something happen in their lives that negatively impacted their credit score.
 
Loans are made based on the individual’s business plan and his/her demonstrated talent, ability and initiative to make the business succeed.  With the financial banking community as our partners, we’ve helped launch or expand more than 745 small businesses across Utah by making micro-loans totaling more than $10 million (with an average loan size of $13,000, and loan packages available up to $25,000). 
 
In early 2011, Jonathan Hartnup, owner of a2z Curb Appeal needed funding to grow his power washing business.  Located in Cache Valley, a2z Curb Appeal’s mission is to reduce sickness and odor while beautifying homes and businesses, using eco-friendly, bio-degradable hypo-allergenic cleaning agents.  He used a Utah micro-enterprise loan to purchase needed equipment and working capital.  Since then, he has done work for Miller Brothers Express, Cache Valley Community School District, Hampton Inn, Comfort Inn, and King Farms Trucking.
 
In many instances, Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund clients may not have formal training or education, but they do have drive, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to initiate and manage a small enterprise.  These same entrepreneurs may not have the money, collateral or credit history to qualify for a traditional small business loan. The philosophy of microenterprise recognizes the fundamental ability of people to apply their individual talents, creativity and hard work to better their lives. 
 
We understand the enormous time, energy and commitment it takes to make a small business successful. To help our clients make their small business ideas and dreams a reality, we partner with local business assistance resources such as the Cache Valley SBDC.
 
Microenterprise Changes Lives - Microenterprise can help people overcome the common barriers of race, gender, ethnicity, income and job market fluctuations.   By supporting individuals in starting or expanding a business, microenterprise programs can help people to increase their income, assets and net worth.  Further, it allows people to enhance their talents and skills, increases self-esteem, and increases involvement in communities. As a result, individuals can become more self-sufficient and improve the quality of life for themselves and their families.  
For the greater community, microenterprise creates jobs, revitalizes key neighborhoods, enhances the economy and changes peoples lives for the better. It helps to preserve the unique character and local color of our neighborhoods and communities. 
 
Microenterprise can mean more security, self-confidence and pride which contributes to healthier families, stronger communities and brighter futures for everyone. 
For more information, visit the UMLF’s web site at www.umlf.com.