Who it helps
The Helping Hands Loan Fund is targeted to help low-to-moderate income individuals attain self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship.
This fund has the potential to help individuals, especially women, develop self-sufficiency through micro-enterprise development, which then helps to boost the local economy. The Helping Hands Loan Program helps borrowers supplement their family income with a small or seasonal income business.
The ability to access small sums of money to jump-start or support small business ventures is vital to the local economy. When a loan fund looks primarily at the borrower and their business or idea, not just their credit, it makes the loan program more viable and helps to create more success stories.
- Starting or Own a For-Profit Micro-Business or Have a Seasonal Enterprise
- Lacks Credit or Have Low Credit
- Turned Down for Traditional Financing
- Has less than five (5) employees
- Applicant’s business must be in one of the following regions: Northern Virginia, District of Columbia, and Maryland (Montgomery and Prince Georges counties).
- Need to Purchase Equipment: e.g.: computer, printer, or other specialty equipment
- Need to Purchase a Small Amount of Inventory
- Need to Hire Support – Temporary or otherwise
- Other Startup Expenses
Rates, Terms, Costs
- Amount Minimum $500 – Maximum $5,000
- Interest Rate Prime + 1%
- Terms 1-year – 2 or 3 years
- Other Application Fee: WAIVED (originally $50); Loan Closing Fee: 1.5%; UCC Filing (State – if applicable): $25; Prospective borrowers could qualify for scholarship rates for select CBP training programs (see Scholarship Option below)
A potential Helping Hands loan client must follow these requirements:
- Minimum Ten (10) hours of Technical (Classroom) Training – Must be completed prior to loan closing
- Minimum of Ten (10) hours of one-on-one financial counseling with a CBP BFC Counselor throughout the life of the loan
- Submit quarterly status updates.
- Submit annual business and financial reports.
- Loan recipients will be required to attend monthly peer group meetings – All loan recipients are required to attend a mandatory monthly meeting with their peers to discuss any challenges they are currently facing. Income for the past month will be discussed and goals for the upcoming month will be set. This meeting gives borrowers a chance to network with their peers and work together toward finding solutions for themselves and each other. The chance to network and brainstorm with peers is invaluable to the success of any small business.