In The News
Redwood Credit Union Pledges $1M in Microbusiness Loans
Redwood Credit Union and Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County have launched a new collaborative lending program that aims to provide up to $1 million in loans to so-called microbusinesses and startups, the two organizations announced.
The program offers financing for graduates of the partnership’s microbusiness development program, which provides financial education for aspiring entrepreneurs and current owners of small-scale companies. The program has graduated 30 people since its inception, helping to launch ventures including a landscape company, palette recycling, bakeries and a wholesale clothing outlet.
“RCU recognizes small and microbusinesses often have difficulty in obtaining the financing needed to initiate a business or expand. RCU is committed to our community, and we believe funding the growth of microbusiness is a positive way to impact these businesses as well as the economic growth and vitality of our county,” said Anne Benjamin, chief operating officer and executive vice president of Redwood Credit Union (redwoodcu.org), in the announcement.
The 15-course CAP Sonoma program, offered in both English and Spanish, combines education in business and personal financial literacy. Graduates are expected to achieve at least 80 percent on a final exam and have 80 percent attendance, along with the development of a business plan.
The program includes elements of the nationally recognized NxLevel curriculum and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s MoneySmart curriculum. CAP Sonoma has offered financial literacy programs for nearly ten years, graduating over 200 individuals from its personal financial literacy program.
“As part of our program, we help our students draft a business plan, secure a mentorship with an existing business owner and prepare them to meet with a loan officer,” said Lannie Medina, chief development officer of CAP Sonoma (capsonoma.org), in the announcement.
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