Chamber's microloan program swells to $2M after grant

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A microloan program for small businesses in Indianapolis has received a torrent of funding from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation—boosting the fund from $155,000 last fall to $2 million.

Business Ownership Initiative, a unit of the Indy Chamber, launched its microloan fund last September to help small business owners in Indianapolis. It has relied on grants from the Glick Fund, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, and from the city.

“This new funding source for our microloan program can help us extend our reach even further,” BOI’s executive director, Julie Grice, said in a prepared statement.

The partnership with BOI and Chase expands the project beyond the core of Indianapolis and likely will reach businesses in untapped neighborhoods, said Dennis Bassett, chairman of Chase Indiana.

With the Chase funding, Indy Chamber now has the largest microloan plan in the country, officials said. Businesses must meet with a business coach to assist them in the loan application.

Microloan programs have been popular for years in developing countries, which don’t have traditional banking infrastructure. 

But the financial crisis of 2008 crimped funding to U.S. small businesses and sparked interest in microlending. Traditional lenders typically prefer working with more established borrowers looking for bigger loans that are more profitable and sometimes less risky to the lender.

There are other microloan programs in the state, including one run through the Anderson-based Flagship Enterprise Center, which is tied to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Microloan Program.

Flagship made 17 microloans in 2012.

Even some cities are getting into the act. Zionsville has a microloan program available to existing businesses in its tax-increment financing district. The program is seeded with TIF proceeds.

Most microlenders make loans in the range from $500 to $50,000, though the national average is $13,000.



Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.