Microloan Program Benchmark
Another benchmark for CEDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) was reached during the first quarter of 2023 with $1.6 million in loans being approved from the
$400,000 lending pool, equating to four full revolutions of this revolving loan fund. The program started at CEDA in December of 2010 with the first RMAP loans being issued in the first quarter of 2011. Over the twelve-year life of the RMAP at CEDA, the original $400,000 in capital has been loaned four times and repaid over three times. All of this equates to an average of 25% of the RMAP capital at CEDA being loaned to new borrowers and repaid by prior borrowers each year.
The focus of the RMAP is to help those small businesses that need aloan of $50,000 or less to start or move to the next step. In the twelve years of RMAP lending, 48 loans have been closed with an average loan amount of under $35,000. Approximately one-half of those loans helped to fund the start of a new business and the other one-half to finance an expansion. Eligible projects and borrowers include equipment, inventory and working capital for businesses with ten or fewer employees. CEDA serves NC Idaho and SE Washington with the RMAP. Examples of RMAP projects at CEDA include equipment for a boat repair business, a tow truck for an upstart towing company, brewing equipment for a microbrewery; tools and working capital for a garage-door company, excavation equipment, wildland firefighting equipment, auto repair shop equipment; and CNC equipment for manufactures using wood as their raw materials and others using metal, just to name a few.
CEDA currently administers six revolving loan funds in all, each with slightly different lending and eligibility criteria. In all the capital base of these funds is $5 million from which CEDA has averaged over $1 million in new loans issued each year over the past five years.