Beginning Monday, small businesses within Charleston’s West Side or East End districts that need an extra boost to start or expand can get it at Charleston Main Streets.
The economic development organization is launching its first-ever microloan program, CWVenture.
“We’ve always had the façade and sign grant program, which focuses on the exterior [of a business], but this is really the first time we’ve been able to offer cash on projects that will more than likely be allocated toward the interior of the business,” Main Streets Director Ric Cavender said.
Existing businesses or those looking to start can apply for up to $5,000 to be paid back within three years.
“It’s gap funding to sort of close that gap if they need something to open up or expand that they may not have the cashflow right then — that’s what this is really designed for,” Cavender said.
The funds can be used for working capital, real estate for the use of small business, capital improvements, machinery and equipment, among other things.
The program is funded with a $50,000 grant from the West Virginia Development Office and $10,000 from BB&T.
“We welcome anyone who owns a business in either district or maybe is considering opening a business to consider it if they feel like that need that funding,” Cavender said.