Florence County Business Resources

April 16, 2018

Author:  
Wendy Gehlhoff

Source:  
press release

Florence, WI…… Existing businesses who want to expand and entrepreneurs who plan to start a new business in Florence County can apply for small business loans through the Florence County Economic Development office. There are two different loan programs: the Revolving Loan Fund Program (RLF) and the Gemstar Micro Loan Program. Each has slightly different terms and conditions. Both loan programs require submission of a business plan with financial projections. If you have never written a business plan, you can get help from our free business counselor services. The Business Plan is an important step to determine if your projected revenues will cover all of your expenses. The business must have positive cash flow in order to succeed.

The RLF loan program can lend from $20,000 to $35,000 per job created. It must be matched 50/50 by a bank loan, owner down payment or a combination of both. The terms are 4% interest for 7 years (working capital), 10 years (equipment) or 12 years for real estate. Loan amounts range from $10,000 up to $100,000 if the funds are available and sufficient new jobs are created. The process can take up to 2 months depending on the timing of the 3 meetings to get an RLF loan approved. The RLF Loan typically takes 2nd position behind the bank on the pledged collateral. These are the “but for” monies to help a project happen that a bank may not be willing to provide alone. Since its origin in 1995, the program has approved 62 loans for projects all over Florence County. There is currently $85,000 available to borrow and 12 loans under management.

The Gemstar Micro Loan program is a cooperative program shared with Marinette County and supported through business assistance as needed from NWTC. Entrepreneurs can borrow from $1,000 up to $10,000 to grow or start their business. The loan committee wants to see some owner investment in the project, but there is no minimum match. The interest rate is 3% for a 5-year term. After submitting a completed application and business plan, a loan committee meeting is called to review the project. Since its inception in 2012, Florence County has had 7 loans and Marinette has had 4.

For more information contact Wendy Gehlhoff (715-528-3294) wgehlhoff@co.florence.wi.us or click on the Economic Development tab then Business Resources at www.ExploreFlorenceCounty.com.

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