Nationwide there is growing demand for small business loans. Some of these are financed through Crowd Funding. In Vermont, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has established a strong program of micro loans, working with entrepreneurs to help them start their own businesses. In 2013, the loans granted exceeded the amount given in the previous two years. A total of $688,000 was loaned to a variety of businesses. Each loan was for a six year period, with a maximum amount of $50,000 for each loan. The program produced 120 new jobs in Vermont.
Funding of these loans is unique in that they are processed through three non-profit community based organizations called “intermediaries.” They are the Community Capital of Vermont in Barre, Vermont Community Loan Fund in Montpelier and Northern Community Investment Corp. in St. Johnsbury.
80% of the loans were for start-up companies. If needed, the “intermediaries” will provide technical services for financial management, marketing and inventory management.