The state of New Jersey, USA, lost more than 9,500 of its roughly 180,000 small businesses between 2004 and 2014 as it struggled to recover from the economic downturn. New Jersey policies seem to discourage growth, according to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, which ranked the state 49th in the country for its small business climate.
The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the local government in Union County, New Jersey is partnering with UCEDC, a nonprofit economic development corporation, to offer women business owners in Union County access to zero-percent working capital financing. The no-interest loans of up to $25,000 are made possible by grants from Investors Bank and the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program.
The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders Vice Chairman Sergio Granados:
“Working capital is the lifeblood of small businesses and unfortunately, women-owned businesses often come up short. With the elimination of all interest payments on this loan, we’re hoping that more women entrepreneurs will now have the cash they need to grow their business.”
Eligibility requirements are:
Woman-owned business (51%+)
in business for a minimum of three years
personal credit score of at least 680
profitable in their latest tax return
There are no collateral requirements for the loans.
The UCEDC also offers a 2% interest rate reduction on loans up to $50,000 to women business owners in New Jersey. This is also supported by Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program. These loans are available to startups or established businesses and have no application fees or prepayment penalties.
The Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program with Bank of America offers access to affordable loans through Community Lenders.
The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders are the elected officials in Union County. They are the equivalent to an elected city council or county commission.
UCEDC is a private, non-profit community development financial institution. They offer a variety of low-interest loans to businesses in New Jersey. They also hold business training seminars and have a mentorship program.
Investors Bank has been serving the banking needs of New Jersey and New York residents since 1926. The bank has strong ties to local communities. Their Investors Foundation has pledged more than $16 million in support of the communities the bank serves.
According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, more than 9.4 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 7.9 million people, and generating $1.5 trillion in sales as of 2015. Today, with the help of four different lenders and associations coming together, women in New Jersey can get the help they need to start or grow their business.