Finance your Business

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Starting or growing a business takes money, and getting a loan can be challenging for an entrepreneur. Most banks want a proven track record and won't loan to start-ups or those with less than a two year financial history. 

How We Can Help

That's why the EDB created the following financing options for businesses that don't qualify for conventional loan financing. 

Sonoma County Impact Loan Fund - New in 2016

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Started in Summer 2016, the EDB is pleased to announce the launch of the Sonoma County Loan Fund, a micro lending pool for startup and expanding entrepreneurs in Sonoma County. This unique partnership—the first of its kind in Sonoma County—has brought together eight local lending institutions to invest $255,000 to create a microlending fund for local businesses that don’t qualify for traditional bank financing. The Sonoma County Loan Fund will be administered by Working Solutions, an experienced nonprofit lender, in partnership with the EDB and investment pledges from the following local lending institutions:

Sonoma County Microloan Connect

Finance-Hip-Chick-Farms-PhotoThe Sonoma County Microloan Connect Program provides business loans ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 for start-up and expansion costs. Started in 2013, the EDB connects qualified businesses to our lending partner, Working Solutions, a 501c3 Community Development Financial Institution, specializing in smaller loans for people who may not qualify for a traditional business loan through a bank, credit union, or other lending agency.  Since the program began, the EDB has worked with nearly 30 companies in Sonoma County, including  Hip Chick FarmsThe Nectary and  Little Four Clothing to obtain a microloan. To date, Working Solutions has made over $750,000 in micro loans to Sonoma County businesses. Finance-Hip-Chick-Farms-Logo

Help with Your Loan Application

The EDB will guide you, from start to finish—reviewing your business history and outlook, connecting you with Working Solutions, and helping you through the application process. And like most of EDB's business services, our business loan review is free and confidential. Contact Al Lerma at albert.lerma@sonoma-county.org or (707) 565-6428 to find out the best financing options for you.

Tax-Exempt Bond Financing

The EDB, in partnership with the California Enterprise Development Authority (CEDA), facilitates bond financing to help Sonoma County manufacturing/processing firms and local Non-Profits to expand. 

    Industrial Revenue Bonds for Manufacturers

    Industrial Development Bonds (IDBs) are tax-exempt securities issued by cities, counties, and joint powers authorities (JPAs), such as CEDA, to provide small- to medium-sized manufacturers money for land purchases, building construction, facility expansion, new production equipment acquisition, and solar and energy conservation retrofits. Benefits of IDB financing include below market interest rates, long-term financing, and it is available statewide without limitations to specific areas or communities. Overall, IDB financing reduces total financing costs so more capital can be invested back into the organization’s operations.

    501c3 Revenue Bonds for Nonprofits

    501(c)(3) revenue bond financing facilitates land and building acquisition, building construction, and refinancing of prior debt (for eligible capital projects). Benefits of this type of financing include below market interest rates, long-term financing, and it is available statewide without limitations to specific areas or communities. A 501(c)(3) revenue bond is preferred over a conventional loan because the interest is tax exempt and therefore the interest rate is significantly lower than bank financing. Over a long period of time, this can mean substantial savings to the borrower, depending on the amount financed, and reduces total financing costs so more capital can be invested back into the organization’s operations.

    About CEDA

    CEDA was established as a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) by the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) to address gaps in economic development financing. Specifically, CEDA’s goal is to issue bonds for small to medium sized California manufacturers or nonprofits looking to grow or expand, and in some cases refinance.

    Other Financial Resources

    To learn about other financial lending opportunities, check out our Finance your Growth page.

    • Banks and Credit Unions
    • SBA Lenders in Sonoma County
    • Alternative Lending Resources
    • Angel Investors/Venture Capital
    • Environmentally-focused Lending
    • Crowdfunding and Other Resources

    Contact Information

    Al Lerma

    Director of Business Development and Innovation

    Economic Development Board
    Contact us by Phone
    Address
    141 Stony Circle, Suite 110
    Santa Rosa, CA 95403
     

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