To help fuel the local business economy, Redwood Credit Union and Community Action Partnership Sonoma have announced a strategic partnership that will offer up to $1 million in loans to microbusinesses and startups.
The loans, which will be available to businesses in Sonoma County in California, are the newest addition to the small business and consumer loan programs offered by the $2.2 billion Redwood CU in Santa Rosa, Calif.
The new venture provides significant funding opportunities for graduates of CAP Sonoma’s microbusiness development program, which has graduated 30 people since its inception, according to RCU.
CAP Sonoma provides financial education specifically designed for small-business owners and individuals who are seeking to start or currently own microbusinesses.
RCU said it has committed up to $1 million in loan financing to graduates of CAP’s microbusiness development program, to support the growth and expansion of microbusinesses in the community.
“RCU recognizes small and microbusinesses often have difficulty in obtaining the financing needed to initiate a business or expand,” said Anne Benjamin, RCU’s chief operating officer and executive vice president.
As a result, the credit union “is committed to our community and we believe funding the growth of microbusinesses is a positive way to impact these businesses as well as the economic growth and vitality of our county,” Benjamin said.
CAP Sonoma’s microbusiness development program for small business owners and startup entrepreneurs includes comprehensive coursework through 15 classes offered in both English and Spanish, RCU said.
“As part of our program, we help our students draft a business plan, secure a mentorship with an existing business owner, and prepare them to meet with a loan officer,” said Lannie Medina, chief development officer of CAP Sonoma.
“RCU’s extensive commitment to the success of the microloan program and our community overall has been inspirational and motivating,” Medina added.