For Skagit County small businesses searching for funding to support growing and expanding their operations, the Skagit County Revolving Loan Fund offers affordable financing opportunities to purchase equipment or real estate, refinance expensive debt, or improve your business space to attract new clients. Revived by the National Development Council (NDC) earlier this year, this longstanding program is now featuring loans for up to $500,000 at competitive interest rates for eligible businesses–offering another tool for helping grow your business.
For more than 30 years, the Skagit County Revolving Loan Fund Program has supported job retention and creation in Skagit County, while leveraging private sector investment in local business expansion projects. The program was originally established, with funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, in response to the loss of more than 1,500 industrial jobs between 1982 and 1984. Administered by the Skagit Council of Governments (SCOG), the program made 65 loans totaling approximately $3.7 million between 1985 and 2017, retaining or creating an estimated 1,837 jobs. The success of this program led to the launch in 1996 of a Micro Enterprise Revolving Loan Fund for small businesses with up to 5 employees, which made 34 loans totaling $362,000; and the Business Lending Revolving Loan Fund to finance business expansion and retention in Skagit County, with 55 loans totaling approximately $1.4 million.
Under NDC’s management, the Skagit County Revolving Loan Fund Program aims to increase lending and training for small businesses that are growing and hiring, particularly in low-income areas. NDC has increased the typical loan size, which previously maxed out at $80,000, to between $100,000 and $500,000 using the SBA 7(a) program. Key features of the loan program include:
- Loan sizes ranging from $75,000 to $500,000
- Interest rate of 6.5% (with potential to go lower)
- Long terms, low payments
- Patient and accessible underwriting process
The program targets existing businesses (at least two years old) that are looking to grow and hire new employees. Funds can be used to buy machinery and equipment, to finance tenant and real estate improvements, as well as provide working capital. The loan fund can be accessed by any business in Skagit County, but NDC will target lending to businesses in low- and moderate-income areas where capital is most needed. NDC can partner with local banks to provide subordinate financing to fill gaps and help businesses get the resources they need.
To support Skagit County businesses taking full advantage of the loan program opportunities, NDC is partnering with EDASC and the Washington SBDC to provide training opportunities for business owners to help them better manage their financials and increase hiring. In March, NDC, EDASC and SBDC partnered to offer “Cash Reigns Supreme,” a course for businesses on managing and maintaining financial statements, and are planning additional related training opportunities moving forward.
Are you interested in learning more about how the Skagit County Revolving Loan Fund can support your business? For more information, contact Melissa LaFayette of NDC at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (206) 254-2800 x208.