For example, the Atlanta Catalyst Fund targets small business owners who support job creation in distressed Atlanta neighborhoods, offering funding between $50,000 to $100,000. Another fund, the Atlanta Forward Loan Fund, provides financial assistance of up to $20,000 to startups that are enrolled in accelerators, incubators, or co-working spaces in the city. There’s even an Atlanta Street Vendor Loan Fund, which provides loans of up to $3,000 for street vendors to purchase vending carts.
All you need to do to get started is attend an information session in person or virtually. If you meet the eligibility requirements for one or more Invest Atlanta funds, you can submit an application.
The Atlanta Micro Fund is a CDFI that provides funding and assistance to underserved small businesses based in and around metro Atlanta. First-time borrowers can apply for a loan of up to $10,000 and repeat borrowers can request up to $15,000. The money can be used on equipment, business vehicles, working capital, inventory, raw materials, or marketing expenses.
Similar to ACE, Atlanta Micro Fund also provides free and low-cost business support services, such as accounting, graphic design, managerial, operational and financial support. They don’t have an online application, so you’ll have to contact them directly to get started.
5. Southwest Georgia United
Another CDFI, this one based in the southwestern part of the state, Southwest Georgia United offers business loans and microloans to eligible small businesses. Business loans are available in 14 Georgia counties: Ben Hill, Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Miller, Mitchell, Pulaski, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner and Wilcox. The business loans go up to $250,000, with the cap being 75% of your project’s total cost. Interest rates are as low as 6% and repayment terms go up to 10 years. These Georgia business loans can be used for working capital or for larger investments in equipment, land and buildings.
The microloans are available www.paydayloanstennessee.com/cities/nashville/ only for businesses in rural parts of Georgia. These loans can be used for inventory, supplies, working capital, equipment and loan refinancing. As with the regular business loans, the interest rate on microloans starts at 6%, and loan terms can extend up to 10 years. You can either visit Southwest Georgia United’s office in Vienna, Georgia, or call them to get started.
6. Albany Community Together
While Albany Community Together is another CDFI, it operates a little differently from the others. Albany works closely with banks and traditional lending institutions to provide gap funding. For example, if you need $50,000 to buy some equipment and the bank only approves you for $30,000, Albany Community Together will help you make up the shortfall.
They lend to businesses within 35 counties in Southwest and West Georgia, through several loan programs. Albany participates in the SSBCI and they are approved to provide microloans by the Small Business Administration (SBA). They also offer City of Albany business loans specifically for businesses located in that city.
7. Small Business Assistance Corporation
The Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC) is a CDFI that provides loans to businesses in Savannah, Georgia, southeastern Georgia and parts of South Carolina. They participate in several SBA loan programs , but also offer other types of loans. Eligibility varies based on the type of loan.
Among their loan products is a $1,000 credit builder loan for small business owners. SBAC will report your payments on the loan to the credit bureaus so that you can improve your credit score and qualify for larger amounts of financing. SBAC also offers a contract loan program for businesses that need financial assistance to execute contracts with the local government. Another popular program from the SBAC is their small steps lending program where small business owners can apply for successively larger amounts of financing and longer repayment terms as they pay back what they borrow.