New opportunity for small businesses to get financing emerges

For many small businesses, the greatest barrier to growth is not having access to the money they need.  

The new Kalamazoo Capital Consortium has created a new online resource for small businesses to assist them in obtaining capital.

Over the past six months, SCORE, LISC, and the CIty of Kalamazoo have been working with more than a dozen financial institutions to develop a tool that will support entrepreneurs who want to seek out finds online.

The Kalamazoo Capital Consortium is a group of nonprofit and for-profit partners who are working together through the Greater Kalamazoo Business Resource Group. It has created a new online resource for small businesses to obtain access to capital. 

The Kalamazoo Capital Consortium will take businesses rapidly through a series of questions about revenues, time in business, their credit score, sector, location and capital needs, in hope of finding one or more matches with an approved lender.

The Kalamazoo Capital Consortium follows the model of platforms built for other markets such as those featuring mission-driven or otherwise approved responsible lenders, including LocalLending NYC or the Philadelphia Capital Consortium.
 
At launch, more than 12 financial institutions, including three Community Development Financial Institutions and the City of Kalamazoo will offer small business loans through the platform. 

The application process consists of an online Funding Request Form that outlines the business’ capital needs. The form is submitted to SCORE, and then forwarded to Consortium members. If a Consortium member wants to work with the business, then the business is contacted directly within 10 business days. 

The Funding Request Form allows small business owners to reach out to multiple lenders at once using a single document. Businesses hear only from interested lenders.
 
For those who do not qualify when applying, the platform provides matches for an approved Kalamazoo-area small business assistance provider that can coach them, and provide advice and support so that when the entrepreneur applies for a funding for the second time they are better prepared. 

The grand opening of the Kalamazoo Capital Consortium will be May 21, the Greater Kalamazoo Business Resource Group has announced.

Source: The Greater Kalamazoo Business Resource Group
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