A new $3.5 million loan program has been created by the City of Atlanta and its mayor to promote small regional businesses by generating equity. Atlanta small businesses can apply for a direct loan of up to 20% of commercial property costs, with a cap of $200,000, through the Atlanta Business Down Payment Assistance Loan Program (CDPA). The loans are granted for the purchase or acquisition of a building in a commercial zone in the city of Atlanta, as well as for any necessary improvements. The loan can be converted into a grant if the business makes regular payments for ten years and meets payback requirements. The fund is made possible by a $20 million donation from Wells Fargo to help Atlanta small business owners own more of their business assets, including real estate and equipment, and finance physical improvements to their facilities.
“The timing of programs such as the Atlanta Down Payment Assistance Loan Program and other complementary resources we’ve launched is crucial because approximately 25% of businesses do not reopen after a major disaster like a global pandemic.” , said Dr. Eloisa Klementich. , President and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “What we’re doing with the support of Wells Fargo is providing small businesses with resources that empower them to weather economic uncertainty to create long-term wealth.”
“Supporting racially and ethnically diverse small business owners is critical to the equitable growth of our communities and the economic success of Greater Atlanta,” said Milton J. Little, Jr., President and CEO of United Way of Greater Atlanta. “It’s through partnerships like ours with Wells Fargo, the City of Atlanta and Invest Atlanta that we’re able to give our city’s small businesses the tools and resources they need to grow and thrive. “
“United Way and Invest Atlanta have been working at an accelerated pace to create impact for small businesses with diverse interests,” said Jenny Flores, Philanthropy Manager for Small Business Growth at Wells Fargo. “These funding opportunities allow entrepreneurs to grow their business assets, which in turn can build their long-term wealth and strengthen the Atlanta community.”
Loan recipients must be established small businesses with a business license from the City of Atlanta who wish to purchase commercial real estate in Atlanta, with an emphasis on low-income census tracts, Federal Opportunity Zone disadvantaged neighborhoods or neighborhoods benefiting from the New Markets tax credit. Companies must also show that their sector has room to develop.
“Healthy and thriving local businesses are the lifeblood of our communities,” said Mayor Andrew Dickens. “Inflation and economic strains resulting from the pandemic have made many small businesses increasingly vulnerable to displacement. The Atlanta Open for Business Fund is designed to help Atlanta businesses keep their doors open, grow, and build resilience that withstands unforeseen economic challenges.
Small business owners can apply and learn more about the Atlanta Business Down Payment Assistance Loan Program at www.investatlanta.com/cdpa. By going to www.atlinbusiness.comsmall businesses interested in the program can contact Invest Atlanta for assistance with their application.
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