Renew Indianapolis expands loan program into Hamilton County

Community development not-for-profit Renew Indianapolis is expanding its small business loan program into Hamilton County, it announced this week.

The program, Build Fund, helps small businesses that are not ready for traditional bank loans receive affordable funding.

Renew Indianapolis said the Build Fund has provided 24 loans totaling $8 million since its start in 2015, created 249 jobs in Marion County.

“This is our big push to move outside of Marion County, and we’ll probably start expanding throughout the central Indiana region for the next several years,” said Even Tester, director of lending at Renew Indianapolis.

In addition to the expansion into Hamilton County, Renew Indianapolis is partnering with a similar not-for-profit, Bankable, based in Anderson. Bankable also focuses on providing affordable funding when traditional bank loans are unavailable.

While both organizations have similar goals, the Build Fund is focused on minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned organizations.

Bankable focuses on loans under $50,000 while the Build Fund focuses on real estate and loans over $50,000.

“If someone comes to us and wants $25,000 for equipment, we would just automatically refer them to Bankable,” Tester said.

Businesses in Marion and Hamilton County can use the Build fund to buy property, expand current locations or purchase equipment.

“With the Build Fund’s new presence in Hamilton County and our partnership with Bankable, we hope to reach dozens of startup restaurants, breweries, fitness centers, and more who aren’t quite ready to obtain traditional funding,” said Steven Meyer, Renew Indianapolis CEO. “In addition to bringing good-paying jobs to the area, these businesses support the local community through their tax dollars, which pay for essential quality-of-life services like schools, parks, libraries, and public health and safety.”

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