Micro loan program for women, minorities extended
April 16, 2019
A successful micro loan program helping small businesses started last year with the support of Mayor William Peduto is set to become permanent.
The Micro-Enterprise Loan Program started in 2018 by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh offers loans of up to $20,000 to businesses citywide to promote opportunities for those groups who historically have not had ready access to early stage business startup and expansion capital, including minority – and women – entrepreneurs.
The loans help cover costs of machinery and equipment, working capital, and site improvements, including façade renovations. Over the past year the URA has made 23 such loans with 96 percent of them issued to minority and women-owned businesses.
Started as a pilot program, the URA board voted last Thursday to make the loan program permanent.
The program follows the p4 development model advocated by Mayor Peduto, which focuses on people, planet, place and performance. Mayor Peduto announced the loan program at last year’s Inclusive Innovation Week.
The program is administered by the URA’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and other URA staff with the assistance of third-party advisory committees to provide financial underwriting guidance and technical assistance to borrowers.