Potential sources of capital are available for both start-up and existing businesses in the Grand Traverse region. This list shows both traditional and alternative lending sources from Pre-Start Up to Succession. Click the name to find out more information.
Remember — The five key elements a borrower should have to obtain credit: character (credit score, borrowing history), capacity (sufficient cash flow to service the debt obligation), capital (net worth), collateral (assets to secure the debt), and conditions (experience of the business owners, competition, and overall economic conditions).
- Agape Fund – Interest free micro loans for needs related to employment. Agape also provides financial counseling during the loan process.
- Cherryland Electric Cooperative Loan Fund – A revolving loan fund for capital projects in the counties serviced by Cherryland Electric Cooperative. The projects must work to promote new industries or expand existing industries in these counties.
- Develop Michigan (Commercial Real Estate) – This not-for-profit development finance organization provides debt financing for commercial real estate development projects.
- GreenPath – GreenPath is a financial wellness organization that provides free debt counseling as well as tools and resources for financial education.
- Greenstone Financial – Loans for a wide array of farming needs including equipment, operating, AgriBusiness, real estate, and AgDirect loans. Their loans are very flexible and customizable to fit the individuals needs. GreenStone also provides leasing services for equipment.
- Grow Michigan – The Grow Michigan Economic Development Foundation partners with lenders to help finance businesses through the SBA 504 Loan Program. This state wide organization will also provide guidance for business owners throughout the entire loan process.
- Hickory Capital – Hickory Capital offers unique financing options for many business needs including equipment leasing, commercial real estate loans, contract financing, project financing, accounts receivable financing, SBA Loans, and much more.
- Kalkaska County EDC Loan Fund – This loan, created through a partnership with Venture North, can provide up to $50,000 in funding for businesses in Kalkaska County.
- Michigan Women’s Foundation – Provides micro loan financing to women entrepreneurs and small business owners for up to $50,000. The foundation also provides technical assistance, mentors, and numerous leadership programs.
- Michigan Good Food Fund – A $30 million loan fund providing financing for businesses that work to grow, process, distribute, or sell healthy foods in low income and under-served Michigan communities.
- Northern Initiatives – A non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that offers non-traditional lending services for small businesses that may not qualify for a loan from a bank. Northern Initiatives also provides expertise in marketing and management techniques through their Business Advancement Portal to help small businesses flourish.
- Northern Shores Loan Fund – Northern Shores is a CDFI which provides fives types of loans for small businesses (Micro Loans, Small Business Loans, Artisan Loans, Energy Efficiency Appliance Loans, and FARM Loans). Northern Shores also offers technical assistance in business planning, credit counseling, financial analysis, tax preparation, web based marketing, and more. This organization services Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, and Emmet counties.
- Opportunity Fund – Provides loans for small businesses who can’t access traditional financial resources. Loan programs include: Small Business, Micro, Commercial Vehicle, Express, Easy Pay and Mobile Food Truck.
- Opportunity Resource Fund – Provides loans for the start up or expansion of small businesses that have been denied funding from other lending services, or do not meet traditional underwriting requirements. Loans range from $10,000 to $250,000. They also offer technical assistance services.
- Peer to Peer (Prosper.com) – Prosper can provide low interest personal loans for your small business through peer-to-peer lending.
- USDA Beginner Farmer & Rancher Loans – A grant program for organizations to help provide additional education, technical assistance, and mentoring to beginning farmers and ranchers.
- Venture North USDA Loan Fund – The USDA Rural Development Loan Fund may be used for working capital, product line expansion, market diversification, inventory receivables financing, and machinery and equipment financing. The USDA Loan Fund can provide funding up to $100,000, and the project must retain or create jobs in the region.
- Venture North Development Fund – The Development Fund can provide $25,000-$250,000 in funding for Gap financing, product line expansion, market diversification, production capacity growth, short term bridge financing, and collateral support. The project must retain or create jobs in the region.
- Venture North Community Development Block Grant Loan Fund – The CDBG Loan Fund is available for businesses that are looking to finance real estate, inventory, receivables, equipment, and other working capital needs. Funding up to $500,000 is available, and job creation is a necessary requirement.
- Venture North Sub Micro Loan – The Sub Micro Loan can provide up to $10,000 in funding to be used for start-up or seed money.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY LOAN FUNDS
- Michigan Saves – The Business Energy Financing Loan Program at Michigan Saves allows businesses to determine what energy efficiency or renewable energy improvements can be made, and then finance the project through a loan of $2,000-$250,000.
- PACE Energy Efficiency Loan Program – Provides unique financing for energy efficiency projects. PACE greatly reduces the up-front cost of an energy project by spreading the cost over 15-20 years, typically generating more money in savings each year than the loan payment.
- Venture North TCLP Energy Efficiency Loan – This low interest loan is intended for businesses serviced by Traverse City Light and Power that are investing in energy efficiency improvement projects. The loan program can provide up to $50,000 in funding for these projects.
- MEDC Collateral Support Program – This program helps pledge cash collateral to businesses that are seeking a loan, but may not have enough collateral to be approved.
- MEDC Loan Participation Program – This program helps businesses that are seeking a loan for an expansion or diversification project, but are having issues with approval because of their projected cash flows. It aids businesses by purchasing a portion of the loan from the lender.
- USDA Rural Development Loan Guarantee – This program works with lenders to guarantee loans for rural businesses. Lenders can apply for this program, and interested borrowers should ask about this program with their lenders.
- SBA 7a Loan Programs – SBA’s general business loan is their most common loan, and can be used to start a new business or help with the operation and expansion of a current business. The loan is offered through local SBA lenders.
- SBA 504 Loan Programs – The 504 loan is a fixed rate loan to finance fixed asset purchases such as equipment and real estate. The loan is offered through local SBA lenders.
- Michigan State University – Library of Grants for Nonprofits – Provides a list of grants and other funding sources available to nonprofit organizations.
- Utopia Fund – The Utopia Foundation is a Traverse City based organization that invests in community improvement projects. The Utopia Fund has a matching grant program for sustainable projects that work to improve economic, social, or environmental conditions.
- As Local As Possible – ALAP is a Northern Michigan group that holds monthly meetings with entrepreneurs. Through these meetings, ALAP seeks to learn about the entrepreneur’s business and create local investment that has a financial, social, and environmental impact.
- Amber Grants for Women in Business – Each month, WomensNet offers a $500 grant to entrepreneurial women-owned businesses. Each monthly recipient then has the chance to be awarded a year end grant of $1000.
- Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) – MDARD provides various agricultural grants including Value-Added, Specialty Crop, and Rural Development Fund Grants.
- MDARD Value-Added Grant – A cost reimbursement program for value-added agriculture production, or for production that expands the regional food system by providing access to healthy food.
- MDARD Specialty Crop Block Grant – Awarded to producers of specialty crops which include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery, floriculture, and horticulture crops, and culinary and medicinal herbs and spices.
- MDARD Rural Development Fund Grant – This grant funds projects that expand land-based industries or make them more sustainable. The project must benefit rural communities in order to be eligible.
- Eileen Fisher Grant Program – Provides $100,000 annually in grants to women-owned businesses. These businesses must be beyond the start up phase, and create a social and environmental impact.
- Indiegogo – A crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurial projects. Indiegogo also allows entrepreneurs to sell their product on the platform after a successful funding campaign.
- Kickstarter – A funding platform for people seeking additional money to start a creative project.
- Start Garden – Provides investment opportunities, connections, and resources for entrepreneurs starting a business. Start Garden can award $5000 grants, connect entrepreneurs with venture capital funds, and help them find platforms and resources that fit their specific needs.
- Northern Michigan Angels – This organization is comprised of successful and experienced volunteer members who provide venture capital funding and strategic mentoring to entrepreneurial companies.
- Belle Capital USA – An angel fund for early stage businesses in regions where venture capital access may be difficult. Companies receiving funds must have at least one woman founder or corporate level executive.
- Golden Seeds – Investment Firm – A large network of over 275 angel investors that provide venture capital funding and expertise for women-led companies.
- Ceres Venture Fund – Investment Fund – A venture capital fund that serves early stage Midwest businesses.
Historic Preservation funding
- Michigan Historic Preservation Network – Revolving loan programs provide low interest loans to businesses and nonprofit organizations for projects to rehabilitate historic buildings in Michigan.