Microloans making major impact on area businesses

Indy Chamber News Archives

When Rigoberto Figueroa started his tree service company six years ago, he was his only employee, armed with a limited amount of equipment and a pickup truck. An entrepreneur with a vision to someday grow his business into a thriving service provider throughout the region, Figueroa is now the owner of Quality Tree Service which has grown to five full-time employees, five equipment trucks and a full-time workload.

The progress his business has made in this short time has not been without its bumps along the road. When faced with his most recent cash flow obstacle, Figueroa turned to the Indy Chamber for resources and financial assistance that helped keep his trucks on the road.

The Indy Chamber’s microlending program offers a variety of loan products to small business owners in the Indianapolis region. The 2012 partnership with JPMorgan Chase Foundation created a $2 million microloan fund, making it the largest in the state and positioning the Indy Chamber as the nation’s only chamber of commerce in the country with such a large microloan fund.

“The opportunity to expand our small business toolkit by providing small dollar microloans to businesses in need has had a major impact on our ability to significantly influence our small business environment over the last few years,” said Julie Grice, Vice President of Entrepreneur Services at the Indy Chamber.

After learning about the program through a community financial assistance center, Figueroa approached the Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative program regarding the microlending opportunities that may be applicable to help cushion his business’s slow cash flow.

“At the time, money was tight and I was looking for a way to increase cash flow, make repairs to my equipment and to help make ends meet,” Figueroa recalled. “I have people, my employees and their families, who depend on me, so this microloan was crucial to keeping my business running.”

Microloans are available in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 and are available to any business owner 21 or older who reside and operate a business in the nine-county Indianapolis region. If approved, funds can be used for a myriad of projects ranging from purchasing or repairing equipment, building a website, brick and mortar upkeep and more.

Interested parties can contact the Indy Chamber to schedule a meeting with a business coach to begin the simple four step loan application process. For Figueroa, the process was quick and simple but made a major impact on the success of his business.

Said Figueroa: “From meeting with my business coach to finalizing the loan, the team at the Indy Chamber made the process comfortable and flexible for my busy schedule. Needless to say, I’m a happy customer.”

For more information on our microloan program contact the Indy Chamber at 317-464-2200 or visit businessownership.org.

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