The Stafford County Economic Development Authority has voted to create a new business loan program to provide “micro and gap” financing to existing and new businesses.

“This program exemplifies the EDA’s commitment to encourage business growth,” said EDA chairman Joel Griffin.

It includes a micro-loan for businesses seeking between $5,000 and $25,000.

“Often, small business and startups use personal credit to start investing in their growth. This offers an alternative to those higher rates,” said John Holden, director of Economic Development and Tourism.

The program also offers “gap” financing for larger projects needing capital up to $150,000.

“The gap financing requires commercial bank participation, and is designed for those projects that may be just beyond the comfort level of the private banking market,” said Holden.

The program is not intended to compete with commercial borrowers but rather complement the marketplace. The program is in partnership with the Rappahannock Economic Development Corporation, Virginia Community Capital, and the University of Mary Washington Small Business Development Center. REDCO will provide the underwriting and VCC will service the loans. Loan applicants may be required to meet with or attend sessions with the SBDC as part of their loan approval.

“This is a unique program in this region and one of only a handful in Virginia. We look forward to helping fund business expansions in Stafford County,” said Holden.

For more information, visit StaffordEDA.com.

—Staff report

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Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407

cjett@freelancestar.com

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