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Microloan Program Lacks Applicants

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 4/30/2009

Everybody's talking about the small business credit crunch. However, D.C. officials have been surprised to see few applicants apply for business loans available via a new small business microloan program.

Many lenders have tightened restrictions and are turning away small businesses looking for funding, but in Washington D.C. a microloan program is facing the opposite problem - few applicants.

Entrepreneur Cash Register

The Washington Business Journal reports that the Small Business Administration (SBA) saw the amount of loans made in the D.C. area drop more than 44 percent during 2008 which was the impetus for the creation of a microloan program in the city.

According to the Journal, although the program has $233,000 available for local business in loans of up to $15,000, to date only 15 SMBs have applied.

City councilman Kwame Brown hopes to expand the program, but that would require that more interest is expressed. At the moment, Brown says a couple of factors are leading to the lack of applicants.

"It's not advertised, there's not enough money in the fund. They really need to market it," he told the news provider.

The good news for small businesses across the country is that the SBA's microloan program received a boost from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - better known as the economic stimulus package - in receiving $30 million to help fund small businesses.

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