August 26, 2020
By: Staff Report
PASCO COUNTY, Fla. -The Pasco EDC announced a $20,000 donation from the Wells Fargo Foundation to the SMARTstart Microloan Fund. During the last decade, Wells Fargo has donated 12 times for a total of $163,000. The Microloan Fund supports small businesses and start-ups in Pasco County that are not able to receive loans through traditional means.
“Small businesses are the fabric of our communities,” said Pasco EDC Board Member and Wells Fargo Pasco East District Manager J. Bradley Smith.
“That’s why so much of what we do centers around helping businesses succeed and grow. Year after year, we continue to partner with the Pasco EDC to support our local, resilient small businesses by providing financial education and philanthropic contributions.”
This fiscal year 4 microloans have been awarded to a delicatessen, packaged beverage manufacturer, online home health agency and a gourmet café totaling $147,500. In a recent testimonial a single mom with two kids said it was a struggle to get banks to support her. She used the SMARTstart CO.STARTERS program to improve her understanding of the legal, accounting, financial and property issues related to small business ownership, was approved for a microloan, and within four months of opening her studio, she was ready to expand into a larger space.
“Our SMARTstart program supports Pasco entrepreneurs and small businesses through a variety of resources,” said Bill Cronin, President/CEO, Pasco EDC. “This donation adds financial support for businesses when they are ineligible for traditional bank loans. The fact that Wells Fargo still sees the value in our small businesses and is willing to help through a private donation speaks volumes to them as strong partners in our community.”
Over the lifetime the of the Microloan Fund Program, there have been 55 microloans awarded totaling just over $1.6 million to local businesses with an average loan of $34,909.
Microloan Program applicants must be for-profit companies located in Pasco County, and borrowers must show they have the experience and resources to be successful business operators. Proceeds may be used for working capital, inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment, but not to purchase real estate or to refinance existing debt. Contact the Pasco EDC at 813-926-0827 or visit http://www.smartstartpasco.com for more information, or to consider donating to the fund.