BY BREANNA COLLINS, ENERGIZING ENTREPRENEURIAL COMMUNITIES VISTA, THE HUB
Through the Energizing Entrepreneurial Communities program, our community coaches with the WV Community Development Hub have established partnerships with small business service and resource providers that are focused on the development and growth of local entrepreneurs. These service providers work diligently to help provide the resources and information in support of aspiring and existing businesses to assist in business success and growth that entrepreneurs desire. Here, we spotlight the Wyoming County Economic Development Authority as a way to highlight services available to small businesses.
In Wyoming County, Christy Laxton, EDA Director, aims to be the go-to resource for all small business needs. Whether the resources are provided through the EDA, or through directing businesses to the proper service provider that they need, the Wyoming County EDA can get you where you need to be. They are available to assist entrepreneurs in all phases of business from startup to growth oriented endeavors. Providing assistance with state business licensing either by paper document or filing online and Secretary of State filings. The EDA is also happy to refer entrepreneurs to the Small Business Development Center and The Hive when the business needs align with the service providers specialty.
The Wyoming County EDA also offers loan programs to small business owners as non-traditional lenders. While business owners are not always considered “bankable businesses,” the fact that the EDA is a non-traditional lender creates hope for businesses seeking funding from an alternative lender. They focus on the credit history of business owners instead of the credit score – they understand credit histories offer more accurate information than a credit score sometimes will.
The EDA currently has 4 Loan Programs available:
- Micro Loan Program is a statewide lending program with fund availability ranging from $1,000 – $35,000 in terms of 6 – 10 years depending on the type of collateral offered for the loan amount borrowed.
- Small Business Loan Program is also a statewide lending program with funding availability up to $50,000 for 6 – 10 years.
- Revolving Loan Fund Program is available to seven southern WV counties and up to $100,000 for 10 – 15 years.
- IRP Intermediary Re-lending Program is available to seven southern WV counties with funding available for up to $150,000 for 15 – 20 year repayment terms.
The EDA is also currently working on establishing a new funding opportunity that will cover a 15 county region. Their goal is to have the program up and running by the summer of 2019.
The EDA has a very low default rate as they are willing to work with clients in a manner that best suits their business and needs. No payment is required for 90 days upon closing and as alternative, non-traditional lenders, they have the ability to be flexible with clients. Last year they received 20 applications with 17 of those being approved.
While Christy and her team at the Wyoming County EDA manage to run a highly functional EDA in the southern part of WV, there is also an EDA in Wood County that functions at this same capacity in the central area of the state. Carol Jackson, EDA Director in Wood County, was pleased to meet with members of The Hub back in June to talk about these same funding opportunities for central counties of WV.
We are specifically mentioning these EDA offices because they work closely with our Energizing Entrepreneurial Communities program. If you have an EDA in your county and are looking to start or grow a business venture or a development initiative, we strongly encourage anyone throughout the state to get to know your EDA director and take advantage of the opportunity and resources they are able provide.