MERIDEN – Businesses with 50 or fewer workers that want to take advantage of the state’s new lending programs for small businesses can apply for the money through the non-profit Community Economic Development Fund (CEDF).
The State of Connecticut Department of Community and Economic Development established the two lending programs in October, as part of the jobs bill, to stabilize and grow Connecticut small businesses. CEDF is administering part of a $100-million fund to be lent out at a fixed rate of 4 percent. The loans can be either term loans or lines of credit.
Small businesses can apply for the loans through the CEDF in partnership with the state Department of Community and Economic Development. To qualify, the businesses must employ 50 or fewer workers, be current on state taxes (or have a repayment plan), and have been in operation for at least one year. The two programs are as follows:
- Businesses can apply for loans between $10,000 and $100,000 at 4 percent for working capital, expansion, equipment and other uses
- Businesses that intend to retain employees or hire at least one additional full-time person can borrow up to $250,000.
In addition, for business owners who are applying for a loan at CEDF and have their own working capital to invest in their businesses, the state of Connecticut may match that investment with a dollar-for-dollar grant.
“We’re proud to announce these three new state programs are available through CEDF,” said Donna Wertenbach, president and CEO of the Meriden-based CEDF. “This is a great opportunity for businesses to strengthen their companies.”
Wertenbach emphasized that CEDF, under this program, can now lend to any Connecticut small business owner, no matter where the business is located. "CEDF specializes in lending money to small businesses which have had difficulty getting conventional bank loans. We don't have a cookie-cutter approach; we can lend on flexible terms to fit many different needs," she said.
CEDF was created in 1994 to revitalize Connecticut’s distressed neighborhoods by providing small businesses greater access to capital and technical assistance. Since then CEDF has provided millions of dollars in small business loans and helped small businesses create or retain thousands of jobs for the state’s residents.