Many refugees would like the opportunity to own their own business and realize the “American Dream.” However, it is nearly impossible for a refugee that has recently arrived in the U.S. to access the capital necessary to start their own business. A commercial loan is difficult to qualify for and many do not possess the credit history, acceptable credit score, collateral, and personal equity to invest in their business. As a result, most are unbankable to financial institutions.
Through training, technical assistance, and capital we are able to assist refugees in becoming self-sufficient, assist in developing a credit history by reporting our loan payments to the credit bureaus and/or in repairing their credit scores. Our program (Refugee Assistance in Micro-Enterprise) provides one-on-one consultations, business plan preparation, technical assistance, access to business credit, and post loan technical assistance to our refugee owned businesses.
The program provides microloans for up to a 3 year repayment term for working capital, inventory, machinery, fixtures, tools, supplies, furniture, and building renovation. Interest rates that are charged on our loans are very reasonable and currently at 4% over the prime lending rate.
Recipients of these loans are able to own their collateral after successfully repaying their loans and further reduce their business overhead. Also, in some cases, the new business owner is able to hire additional employees as their business continues to grow and strengthen.
Jeff Currie at (727) 893-1314 Ext# 223