In 2016, the Community Foundation coordinated Cedar Rapids’ participation in a study of “legacy” cities that have had success in revitalizing in the aftermath of the post-industrial economy. The study, conducted by the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, and New York, and the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, found that revitalization moves along two distinct paths – the arc of growth, and the arc of opportunity. Broad community prosperity that engages all of the region's residents can only happen by connecting the two arcs. Deliberate policies, programs and investments are needed to connect the arcs.
The MICRO loan program is one such effort to offer a path of economic well-being to residents of core neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids.
The Community Foundation was involved in convening several organizations and private donors to develop a micro loan program to assist Cedar Rapids businesses with expenses related to start-up or expansions. The program, MICRO, is a City of Cedar Rapids program, administered by the East Central Iowa Council of Governments, to assist start-up businesses in the Cedar Rapids city limits. The program offers loans ranging from $1,000-$10,000, to be paid off in up to three years at four percent interest. Other partners include: Cedar Rapids Public Library, SCORE, and the SBA Small Business Development Center.
To learn how to apply for a MICRO loan, click here.
The success of MICRO depends on the support from local businesses and individuals. To financially support MICRO, click here.
To learn more about how MICRO was established, 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
Gilda and Barry Boyer
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
- GreatAmerica Financial Services Corporation Donor-Advised Fund
Les and Katrina Garner
Ravi Patel / Hawkeye Hospitality Management
Phillip and Christine Rezin