St. Mary’s Bank has launched a pilot program to offer mini loans to start ups and small emerging companies that it says are finding it difficult to obtain more traditional bank financing.
Through the St. Mary’s Bank Small Business Community Outreach loan program, loans of up to $5,000 are available to individual small businesses on a limited basis. Applicants must be referred through the credit union’s non-profit partner for this endeavor, abi Innovation Hub, a local business incubator where businesses have access to infrastructure, resources, and connections.
The loan’s terms are available from six to 24 months and interest rates at or slightly above market rates, according to St. Mary’s Bank.
“We see many new companies out there with excellent business models that just can’t secure the financing needed, even in small amounts, to grow,” said Michele Petersen, vice president of operations at abi Innovation Hub. “St. Mary’s Small Business Community Outreach Loan helps bridge that gap and keeps small business thriving in our city.”
Tom Champagne, St. Mary’s Bank director of community outreach, said the new program will help drive job growth in the area.
“St. Mary’s SBCO program gives business owners the means to achieve their goals and create new jobs in the process,” Champagne said. “It’s one more way our outreach efforts support the community.”