The Westside Journal
BATON ROUGE – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) joined TruFund recently in announcing a new $1.1M revolving loan fund (RLF) available for regional businesses to access loans of up to $250,000 for working capital, contract financing, inventory, marketing, and business development.
The RLF will focus primarily on those businesses most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic and most in need of support to recover, specifically those with 50 employees or less and with revenues of less than $3M. The RLF is being initially funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to provide both short- and long-term financing. Loans will have terms extending from six to 60 months with interest rates between 0 and 10 percent depending on the loan product. RLFs are self-replenishing, with interest and principal payments on old loans used to issue new ones.
“This is a game changer for small business access to capital in the Baton Rouge Area,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “The success of the Baton Rouge Area economy is directly linked to the success of the small business community, particularly the ability for small businesses to start up and scale up. Access to capital is fundamental to small business success, yet is often cited as one of the most significant growth challenges. We are excited to be announcing this RLF today to make loans to businesses that typically otherwise would not have access to traditional bank financing.”
The Capital Region RLF is the first of TruFund’s in the state. In addition to BRAC, partners in the RLF include regional nonprofit and community based organizations such as Ascension Economic Development Corporation, BUILD Baton Rouge, Capital Region Planning Commission, the City of Baker, City of Central Chamber of Commerce, Greater Pointe Coupee Chamber of Commerce, Iberville Chamber of Commerce, Louisiana State University Small Business Development Center, MetroMorphosis, Southern University Baton Rouge Small Business Development Center, St. Helena Parish Schools, and the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce.
Small businesses interested in applying for a loan through the RLF may contact TruFund Business Development Officers Jay Gaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or Juan Nathan at email@example.com. Small businesses can also call the TruFund Louisiana office line at (504) 293-5550 or visit trufund.org. BRAC and TruFund will seek local lending partners to assist in connecting regional business owners with funding opportunities.