In September 2015, the City of Cedar Rapids launched MICRO, a program designed to provide microloans to new and existing small businesses in the community. MICRO is designed to help kick start new business opportunities in the community and give existing businesses a boost. Participants can borrow between $1,000 and $10,000 for up to three years at four percent interest. Because of initial success of the program, this week Cedar Rapids City Council members agreed to allocate an additional $50,000 from the revolving loan fund to MICRO, bringing the total allocated to $100,000. In addition, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation has received $25,000 in private contributions and is in the process of securing an additional $25,000 of private contributions.
The City of Cedar Rapids partnered with the Community Foundation, the Cedar Rapids Public Library, the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG), the local SCORE chapter, and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in developing and administering the program.
“This program is providing support and assistance to small business owners in our community who otherwise might not have the resources to launch their business,” said Jasmine Almoayed, Cedar Rapids Economic Development Manager. “Not only does it help with financing essential business needs, but participants also receive assistance with creating a business plan, and ongoing mentorship and support.”
Existing and potential business owners interested in learning more about MICRO can contact a partnering organization. Assistance is available for market research, development of a business plan, and completion of the loan application.