AUBURN – Small business owners in Alabama can benefit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by applying for the American Recovery Capital Loan Program, says Jackie DiPofi, director of the Small Business Development Center in Auburn University’s College of Business.
The $350 million loan program offers small business owners up to $35,000 interest-free toward existing debt and includes 12 months deferment of payments with a five-year term.
“This program increases the chances that stimulus money will make it down from Washington, D.C., to the benefit of all Alabama citizens,” DiPofi said.
Only existing businesses at least two years old are eligible. She says the owner must be able to show the business was viable in prior years, that it suffered a financial hardship and, with the help of a American Recovery Capital loan, it can reach viability again.
Nearly 100 small business owners gathered recently at Auburn University to learn about the program during a seminar sponsored by the university’s Small Business Development Center and the Office of the Vice President of University Outreach. DiPofi guided the attendees through the loan application process using a loan checklist distributed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, available at this link, http://www.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/sba_homepage/arcloan_processing_chklist.pdf.
“We had a great turnout and we videotaped the seminar so others around the state can view it,” DiPofi said. “It will help explain the program and its benefits. It should be very helpful to small business development centers, bank officials and small business owners.”
The set of guidelines for lenders is available at this link, http://www.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/sba_homepage/elending_rcvry_procguide.pdf. Presenters also included lender relations specialists David Ramp and L.D. Ralph from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Alabama district office. “The in-depth nature of this program, built around the Small Business Administration checklist, puts Alabama ahead of the nation in understanding the ARC loan,” said Ralph, “and we will use the materials developed by Dr. DiPofi throughout the state.”
More information is available from the Auburn University Small Business Development Center at (334) 844-4220.