Small, minority business program explained

Small, minority business program explained

The Messenger 06.09.08 The Small and Minority-Owned Business Assistance Program will be the focus of a seminar planned by the Regional Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (REED) Center of the University of Tennessee at Martin. The seminar, planned for 10 a.m.-noon Thursday at the REED Center, located at 406 South Lindell St. in Martin, is free. Registration is required by today. Call (731) 587-7333 to register or for more information. Those attending will learn about the program, what types of businesses are eligible and how the loans can be used, interest rates, qualifications and how to enroll in the program. The Small and Minority-Owned Business Assistance Program was created to support outreach to new, expanding and existing businesses in Tennessee that do not have reasonable access to capital markets. The program consists of two components: loans and technical assistance. The loans must be used for specific projects such as acquisition of machinery and equipment, working capital, supplies and materials, inventory and other specific business-related activity. Loans will be made through community-based lending organizations identified in the three regions of the state. The lenders are sensitive to challenges of small and minority-owned businesses and will review loan applications using underwriting criteria that conventional lenders typically do not use. Business loans are capped at $125,000. On the technical assistance side, current or potential business owners can receive assistance with business plans, operations and personnel policies and procedures, financial assessments, cash flow analysis, marketing and other business assistance they may need to successfully launch or improve a business. “This small-business program is for people who are thinking about starting a business and need a business plan and also for those who have a business but need help developing the company to make it more competitive,” said She’rri McClellan, SMOB program director.

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