Micro Loans Considered to Boost Whitestown Small Business Growth

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WHITESTOWN, Ind. – City leaders are about to finalize a plan to help develop the city’s small businesses.

The authorities are seeking to provide micro-loans to small businesses that would help business owners invest in capital and generate additional income for the business and the community.

Whitestown Town Manager Dax Norton said the town would have $ 50,000 through economic development funds to help businesses buy land or equipment, or make improvements to their properties.

The funds would likely be used to help businesses in the city’s Legacy Core, the original part of the city’s downtown core.

“The goal of helping those who have a building in the Legacy Core, an older building, gives them a program to help them revitalize the facade and exterior of their building,” Norton said.

Helping with the facade work was the town’s original plan, through a matching grant program.

However, that was removed and the idea of ​​a micro-loan, a low-interest loan, would allow business owners to do a variety of things and allow the city to grow any funds that could. be used to help more businesses in the future.

“$ 10,000 is usually that range that these companies ask for,” Norton said. “We don’t want to take over the role of private banks, we want to incentivize.

Businesses in Whitestown and across Boone County already have access to micro-loans through the Boone County Economic Development Corporation, which has $ 75,000 for its program.

Leaders in the town of Whitestown believed that starting their own program would increase the number of businesses in their community that could secure similar funds and set up businesses faster.

“They didn’t build the story, they need more dollars to do it,” said BCEDC deputy director Ben Worrell. “This microcredit program gives these small business owners or entrepreneurs the opportunity to obtain the capital they need to take the necessary step.

Matt and Megan Cantrell obtained a micro loan of $ 15,000 through BCEDC. They own Community Pet Healthcare and will be opening a new location next week alongside Whitestown’s Legacy Core.

“Four years later, things are still a little tough,” said Matt Cantrell. “We don’t have all that money saved yet, and without the micro-loan, we wouldn’t be able to get started as soon as we have it. “

The second location, called Indy Pet CORE, will become the first stand-alone pet rehabilitation center that is not linked to a veterinary practice or specialty hospital, according to the owners.

Another beneficiary of the county-wide program is Fundae’s Ice Cream, which plans to open in the spring of 2018.

Whitestown Pizza King owner Aaren Miller likes the idea of ​​his town launching its own program that should help him and his neighbors.

“The revitalization of properties here in this part of town would ultimately bring in the smaller type of mom and pop stores like me, give them a place to build a brand,” Miller said.

Norton said the city’s redevelopment commission would be responsible for reviewing microcredit applications and choosing who would receive the funds. The redevelopment committee is expected to vote on the program on Monday, December 18.


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