DUBUQUE, Iowa (7/7/09)--Dupaco Community CU is helping Dubuque, Iowa, area businesses having difficulty meeting expenses in the economy. It's offering interest-free, short-term loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) America's Recovery Capital Loan (ARC) Program.
The program can provide up to $35,000 in short-term relief for viable small businesses facing immediate financial hardship to help ride out the uncertain economic times and return to profitability, according to Steve Baumhover, the credit union's vice president of business lending and development. The program, launched in mid-June, has these features:
* Available for existing businesses only; * 0% interest rate on the loan; * No guaranty fee; * Up to six months to draw funds; * No payments for the first 12 to 18 months; * Payments of principal only scheduled over the next 60 months; and * Loan proceeds used only for payment of loan payments no more than 60 days old.
Baumhover says ARC loans provide an immediate infusion of capital to small businesses to assist with making payments of principal and interest on existing debt. "These loans allow borrowers to redirect cash flow from making loan payments to investing in their businesses, to help sustain the business and retain jobs," said Baumhover. "For example, making loan payments on existing loans with proceeds from an ARC loan can allow the business to focus more funds on core operations, such as buying inventory or making payroll. He noted that the best candidates for ARC loans are small businesses that in the past were profitable but are currently struggling, yet have been making loan payments or are just beginning to miss loan payments due to financial hardship. The program lasts as long as SBA has funding available or until Sept. 30, 2010, whichever comes first, says SBA. To get the loan, small businesses must be an established business, have financial statements stating it was profitable in one of the past two years, and be able to project sufficient cash flow to meet current and future loan payments over a two-year period from loan approval. Dupaco Community CU is a $660 million asset credit union based in Dubuque.