While small businesses often encounter reluctance from traditional lenders, CEED has championed their cause.
"Our goal is to help owners take their small businesses to the next level," explained CEED's executive director Michelle Richards. "Many people don't know about our Oakland County Microloan Program, but we've provided $633,000 in funding since 2010 to small businesses."
CEED's microloan funding has enabled Oakland County small business owners to retain 75 jobs and created 100 new ones. The program not only provides funding; it also supports owners with a team that identifies other resources needed in order for them to be successful. Help in areas such as proposal writing, sales and marketing, relocation, identifying mentors and more is available.
"Banks have very risk-averse lending parameters," Richards continued. "Since 83 percent of Michigan businesses are comprised of five or fewer employees, it's critical that these microloans are available to them. CEED loans anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been turned down by banks because we take more of a partnership approach, and we take more risk. Our mission is to help small businesses, and we take our mission seriously."
Help is available to those who qualify for CEED's microloan program, and men as well as women are welcome to apply. Merle Norman in Farmington Hills, Maverick Building Systems in Commerce Township and DataGration in Southfield are just three examples of businesses that have obtained microloans and other business support services from CEED.
Belinda Turner Dubois, loan officer for CEED, explained, "Each of the owners of these businesses had unique circumstances and needs. Our team at CEED was able to see their vision and help them gain funding and other resources needed so that they could be successful. We hope that other small business owners in Oakland County will come work with us to grow their businesses."CEED offers a monthly orientation to its Oakland County Microloan Program that discusses the requirements and process necessary to apply and obtain a microloan. The next orientation is 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13. The December orientation is Wednesday, Dec. 11. For details, call 734-677-1400. For registration, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand/ or call 248-858-0783.