With the goal of supporting entrepreneurs and small business development, the MICRO program was established in September 2015. Partners include the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, City of Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids Public Library, Kirkwood Small Business Development Center, the local SCORE chapter, and East Central Iowa Council of Governments.
Thanks to a collaborative effort, entrepreneurs are now being connected with the capital and resources they need to get started. The Cedar Rapids MICRO program, a diverse public-private partnership, allows individuals to borrow up to $10,000 for three years at four percent interest. Assistance is provided to the applicants for market research, development of a business plan, and completion of the loan application. Once the application is approved, resources are in place to continue to support the participant throughout the life of the loan.
The first funding for MICRO came from the City’s existing Business Assistance Revolving Loan Fund program which was seeded with $100,000 from disaster funds from the flood of 2008. Microloans made with these dollars must be made within a defined ‘flood zone’. The Community Foundation has since received contributions from local philanthropists, banks, and credit unions. Microloans made with these dollars can be made outside the ‘flood zone’.
The success of MICRO depends on the support from local businesses and individuals. To financially support MICRO, click here.
2018 Winner of HUD Secretary's Awards for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships
The following financial institutions and private donors have helped to make the MICRO program possible and sustainable in our community.
City of Cedar Rapids
Scott and Cathy Dahm
Patricia and Patrick DePalma
Jonathan Dusek and Dina Igram Dusek
Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation:
- Community Investment Fund
- CRST International Donor-Advised Fund
- Dick Damrow Educational Fund
- GreatAmerica Financial Services Corporation Donor-Advised Fund
- Mary and David Junge Fund
Les and Katrina Garner
Ravi Patel / Hawkeye Hospitality Management
Phillip and Christine Rezin