Pasco's Microloan Fund Grows Small Businesses

The Pasco Economic Development Council (EDC)'s community-based microloan program is helping  to grow small businesses in the county.

The microloan program has funded 15 jobs since its inception in April 2012. Aimed at companies that have a difficult time obtaining traditional loan funds (mainly due to size), the revolving loan continues to support businesses as funds are paid back.

"It's really important to support start-up and small businesses and give them access to capital to help them grow and hire," says Krista Hakes, economic development manager for Pasco Economic Development Council.

Eight small businesses have received funding thus far:

BVT Products, manufacturer of the Go Caddy multicompartment carry all bag, is using the funding for inventory support.

Good Faith Insurance, a health and life insurance brokerage firm specializing in educating retirees about their Medicare choices and benefits. The owner was the first Hispanic and woman-owned business to receive a microloan, which was used to hire an additional staff member to help with recent growth.

The first loan recipient, Dr. Jay Harvey at Personal Pediatric Care, is fueling growth and a change in business plan.   

Statewide Blinds, a mobile company that installs window treatments and cleans and repairs blinds across the state, is purchasing a trailer and other equipment.

Suncoast Fire Safety, offering training to help businesses stay in compliance with state and local fire safety laws, is growing inventory and upgrading equipment.

Tampa Bay Urodynamics, serving local physicians through mobile medical testing and therapy, purchased equipment and expanded services.

United Underwriters of Tampa Bay, a woman-owned insurance firm covering auto, homeowners, business and motor vehicle insurance, purchased marketing collateral and created a new part-time office position.

And the newest recipient, 301 Designs is an online retailer offering apparel and electronics products.

Pasco EDC partners with SCORE to walk applicants through the loan application process. Recipients also continue to receive technical assistance after the loan is dispersed.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Krista Hakes, Pasco Economic Development Council
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