Interest Free Loans Help Small Businesses - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Interest Free Loans Help Small Businesses

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Boosting economic development and creating jobs. The city of Davenport teaming up with the Small Business Development Center to help new businesses in the community grow. 

The partnership is giving small businesses, like Rhonda Groh's bakery on Washington St. in Davenport, a leg up through zero interest loans.    

Groh has owned her own bakery for about five years. She says several challenges come with owning a business, starting from day one.  

"The sheer amount of money to get started was huge," Groh says. 

But after some research, she found out about the city's small business loan program.  

"It was my starting costs, essentially everything you see in this room was covered by that loan," Groh says. 

She credits the loan with getting her business off the ground. 

"We kind of went from 10 miles an hour to 85 miles an hour very quickly," she says. 

Now that program is expanding, helping others like Rhonda.  

"Entrepreneurs have great business ideas and they know their area of expertise," Davenport Business Development Manager Tory Brecht says, "What they may not know are human resource issues or tax issues, or building a business plan, financials." 

That's where the Small Business Development Center comes in. 

"We project out on cost, revenues and look to see is this going to be a feasible business they can actually make money at," Regional Director Marsha Rinetti says. 

The city loan is between $10,000 and $20,000 with no interest. It must be paid back within five years, and applicants must submit detailed business plans, provide collateral, and in some cases complete training courses through the development center.  

"We want them to succeed so they can create jobs and we can get our money back," Brecht says. 

So far, loans through the program have created about 50 jobs. 

As for Rhonda, she tells TV6 she's planning to add to that number soon with employees of her own. 

To find out more about Davenport's Small Business Loan program, visit this link:

http://www.cityofdavenportiowa.com/egov/docs/1291910996372.htm

And for more information on the Small Business Development Center, visit:

http://www.eicc.edu/business/services/sbdc/