Amherst considering revolving loan fund to grow business

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AMHERST, Va. (WDBJ7)-- Drive down Main Street in the Town of Amherst.

WDBJ7 photo

You'll make your way to the town hall, where Sara Carter is working on a new way to help the town's economy.

"Ultimately the goal is to help as many small businesses within the town as possible," said Sara Carter, Town of Amherst Manager.

They plan on doing just that through a revolving loan fund, which would come through the USDA.

The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance is helping point the town in the right direction if they want to pursue that fund.

"It is a pool of money that a municipality or organization loans out on a revolving basis. So, it gets paid out and gets paid back in and that recedes itself with money," said Megan Lucas, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance CEO.

The fund could be set up to have a small interest payment on the loans, which would make the fund grow bigger over time as the money goes in and out.

Carter says the town would plan to put $35,000 toward that fund to get started.

"And so the revolving loan fund is really about securing that last portion of financing that sometimes is the block for someone when they're starting a small business," said Carter.

In addition, the town would be able to set its own guidelines for how much money a business could get or even what types of growth they want to see.

"It would be up to them to set the parameters and the processes of the application for loaning out or granting money and setting the rules to go by. In other words, will there be no interest, or a little bit of interest?" said Lucas.

All those details would be ironed out after the town applies to the USDA.

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