Pasco County To Provide Loans To Small Businesses

The Pasco County Economic Development Council (EDC) has attracted more than $200,000 to help provide seed money to small businesses throughout Pasco County.

Thanks to CenterState Bank and Saint Leo University, the EDC's microloan program has the funds to launch in March. The bank initially donated $5,000 to the county through its Community Reinvestment Act program. Others pitched in. Then a $25,000 donation from Saint Leo brought the funds to $220,000.

The microloan program is designed to lend money to small businesses located in Pasco County, and will offer entrepreneurs free technical assistance and training to help work through challenges they may face in starting or growing a new business. 

"It developed from a need for small business owners," explains Michael Cox, chairman of the Pasco EDC's Growth Task Force and VP at Wells Fargo Advisors. "The types of loans we're going to make are the ones banks don't like to make or can't make. But it's a need for our small business owners. We've been in the process of doing it for the past six months. And now we have the funds to start it."

Pasco EDC continues to actively seek community leaders and businesses that want to help build the fund. Loan applicants must be for-profit companies located in Pasco County, and borrowers must prove to possess the experience and resources necessary for success. Loans may be used for working capital, inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment, but may not be used for real estate purchases or refinancing existing debt.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Michael Cox, Pasco County EDC and Wells Fargo Advisors
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