GROW opens ReStart Kent loan program

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Christina VanDam, owner of Zeal Aerial Fitness, is one of the recipients of the ReStart Kent County Loan Program. Courtesy Jessica Ferguson
Lucinda Waver, owner of Cindy’s Chicken Coop, is one of the recipients of the ReStart Kent County Loan Program. Courtesy Cindy’s Chicken Coop

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women opened a new working capital loan program in partnership with the Small Business Administration.

GROW said last week that it is accepting applications for its ReStart Kent County Loan Program designed to help small businesses that are not currently borrowers of GROW, but were impacted by COVID-19, to recover effectively.

With loan amounts ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, the funds can be used to help keep local businesses afloat and support the reopening process.

“We understand the toll this incredibly difficult time has taken on small businesses in the area,” said Bonnie Nawara, CEO of GROW. “Many small business owners we talk to are exhausted from researching and struggling to find ways to keep their doors open. In creating this loan, we are making funds available with very low interest rates and flexible terms to businesses who haven’t qualified for any other loan options.”

ReStart Kent County Loan Program highlights

  • SBA pays first six months of loan payments
  • 4% interest rate
  • No application fees
  • Flexible terms

“Our team is dedicated to helping small businesses in our communities survive this economic downturn. ReStart Kent is the second round of pandemic-related funding GROW has provided. We were able to assist 29 amazing small businesses with our first effort. I’m hopeful this next round can impact an even greater number,” said Kelli Smith, director of lending at GROW.

“Of those 29 businesses, 47% are minority-owned, 80% women-owned and none of them had access to any other source of capital.”

GROW also partnered with the Community Foundation for Muskegon County and the SBA to create the Muskegon County Recovery Loan, a similar loan product for small businesses in the Muskegon area.

Applications for the ReStart Kent County Loan Program and the Muskegon County Recovery Loan are available online.

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