Eastern Market lands $100K for small biz microloans

One hundred thousand dollars worth of microloans for small businesses are coming to Eastern Market, thanks to some help from Charter One Bank and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Charter One Bank's Growing Communities program is donating the money for the microloans, which are loans made to fledgling businesses in need of a few thousand dollars to reach their next milestones. In the case of the small food-based vendors working through Eastern Market Corp, these are businesses that need a few thousand dollars to buy a new piece of equipment or acquire land to expand.

"We have seen a huge surge of interest in locally-sourced food and both locally grown and locally made products," says Dan Carmody, president of Eastern Market Corp, which manages Eastern Market.

The $100,000 in microloans are expected to help 125 businesses. Charter One Bank gave $30,000 last summer toward the same microloan program last year, which helped 16 local food vendors. For instance, a microloan worth $2,500 helped J&M Farm, a small hog producer that sells its wares at Eastern Market, buy a special saw that helped them chop up large pig bones into small enough chunks to be used as large dog treats.

"So far we have had nice successes in helping these vendors grow their businesses," Carmody says.

Source: Dan Carmody, president of Eastern Market Corp
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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