FAMU Federal Credit Union and OEV Create Million Dollar Microcredit Program

In response to a growing call for loans, a new million dollar microcredit program aims to support women and minority-owned businesses in Tallahassee.

The SmartSteps program offers microloans up to $ 50,000 through a partnership between the FAMU Federal Credit Union and the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality.

“We are excited about the microcredit program. It kind of improves on what we’ve already done, and it serves individuals, businesses and the community, ”said Sheliah Montgomery, President and CEO of FAMU Credit Union, in a recent virtual webinar detailing the program.

Logo of the microenterprise credit program FAMU FCU

She said the microcredit program is timely, adding that many companies are looking to revamp their business models and new innovations have traditionally been born in times of economic uncertainty.

“Our goal is to help you strategize on what to do with the money we are able to lend,” Montgomery said.

Further details regarding the microcredit program are as follows: lower credit scores taken into account; negotiable repayment terms; lower interest rates (3% -4%), loans can be used for a commercial line of credit, commercial equipment, working capital or other financing as negotiated; no collateral required for loans less than $ 15,000 if there is no specific credit risk.

The application fee is $ 25.

From 2018:FAMU Credit Union joins African-American business assistance program

In a statement from the credit union, the money for this revolving loan initiative comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), a federal economic stimulus bill that provides for payments to state governments, local and tribal people navigating the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.

FAMU Credit Union provides up to $ 250,000 annually for administrative and operational costs associated with the initiative.

Other SmartSteps project partners include the Capital City Chamber of Commerce, the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce, the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Center at Florida A&M University, and the Black Business Investment Fund.

Contact TaMaryn Waters at [email protected] or follow @TaMarynWaters on Twitter.

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