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Office of Economic Development
Office of Economic Development

Business Financing

The City of Berkeley may be able to assist you in obtaining financing for business expansion and other business needs through our Revolving Loan Fund. We can also provide information about additional financial resources.


 REVOLVING LOAN FUND (RLF) RLF - Booen Rodriguez/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

The City of Berkeley's Revolving Loan Fund can provide limited financing in situations where private financing is unavailable and when the loan will result in increased jobs. The Revolving Loan Fund offers loans to businesses with interest rates and terms that are below market, available for use in funding business expansion, fixed assets, equipment, working capital, and real estate.  The City of Berkeley's Loan Administration Board reviews and approves eligible business loans and for more details on the program click here to download and print our one page information sheet.

For further information, please contact Kieron Slaughter at (510) 981-2490 or email him at kslaughter@cityofberkeley.info.


ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Microfinance at Berkeley (MFB)

MFB is a pro-bono organization at U.C. Berkeley that supports small businesses and economic development in the Bay Area. MFB provides interest free loans of up to $10,000 through the Kiva U.S. crowdfunding platform to fund small businesses. MFB also offers one-on-one advising sessions for entrepreneurs focusing on social media marketing, credit building, and business plan development.

Opportunity Fund (OF)

OF aims to help low-income entrepreneurs help themselves, create jobs, and strengthen the economy. OF provides micro loans to businesses that are unable to access loans from traditional institutions. Their loans are typically around $21,000 and their mission is to advance the economic well-being of working people by helping them earn, save and invest in their future.

Working Solutions (WS)

WS is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to provide micro-entrepreneurs with the access to capital and resources they need to start or grow a successful business. WS provides microloans ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 and they prioritize serving low-income individuals, women, and minorities. We support microenterprise growth as a strategy to strengthen the local economy, create jobs, and build strong communities.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) assists small businesses with obtaining federal financial assistance, engaging in contracting with the federal government, and recovering from disasters. The agency also offers technical assistance for free or at low cost to small businesses. Detailed information on all the SBA programs can be found at www.sba.gov. The following are the most commonly used SBA loan programs:

7(a) Loan Guarantee Program 7(a) loans are the most basic and widely-used SBA loan. 7(a) loans can be used for a variety of business purposes: working capital, inventory, equipment, improvements, purchase of commercial real estate, and under certain circumstances, refinancing of business debt and business acquisition.
SBA 504 Loan Program The 504 Program provides growing businesses with long-term, low fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings.
Micro-loans The SBA Microloan Program provides, through nonprofit community based lenders, loans of up to $50,000. Loans can be used for start-ups or growing businesses. Loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, supplies, materials, and inventory, as well as other startup or expansion costs.

Business owners can connect with participating SBA lenders by using the SBA LINC tool. For more information on local SBA resources and participating lenders, please visit the San Francisco District webpage, call 415-744-6820, or email sfomail@sba.gov.

OED staff can also point businesses toward other commercial and nonprofit lenders. If you have questions about business financing, see the Contact Us page to determine which of our staff might serve you best.

 

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Office of Economic Development, 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: ecodev@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-7530
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903
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