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Small Business Loan Fund Guidelines

North Branch Works offers a micro loan product for small businesses located in and around the North River, Addison, and Kennedy/Kimball Industrial Corridors. For over 30 years, our local expertise and deep city and neighborhood relationships have helped promote economic development linked to workforce development and job creation.

Please see our Small Business loan program one-pager for an overview of the program.

To apply, please complete our Small Business Loan Application.

As we are a mission driven organization, each loan must:

  • Create new and/or higher paying job opportunities OR save existing jobs;
  • Be located within NBW service area or an eligible neighborhood; and
  • Be a member of NBW to be considered for the loan fund.

Eligible neighborhoods include:

  • Avondale
  • East Garfield Park
  • Hermosa
  • Humboldt Park
  • Irving Park
  • Lincoln Park
  • Logan Square
  • Near North
  • Near West Side
  • North Center
  • West Garfield Park
  • West Town

We offer two classes of loans:

  1. Start-ups will be considered, but the interest rate and amount will be different than for existing businesses. We define start-ups as being in business less than three years. Maximum loan amount is $25,000.
  2. Existing businesses will have the opportunity to borrow a larger amount, usually up to $50,000, though in some cases we might consider a larger loan.

A small amount of basic administrative costs (filing fees, closing costs) to process the loan will be charged to borrower. Collateral will be required as well a personal guarantee.

Depending on demand, we may decide to limit the size of any one loan in order to diversify our portfolio while achieving the goal of maximizing economic opportunity for prospective businesses.

Interest rates will vary from 2-8%, determined by a number of factors such as type of business (start-up or existing), term of loan, credit score, etc.

Terms vary from 6-36 months, depending on use of funds, business operating cycle, credit score, etc.  

Loan proceeds can be used for business purposes only, such as working capital, equipment purchase, inventory, and leasehold improvements.

For more information, please contact Steve Simmons at 773-929-5552 ext. 2226,

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