Community Action of
CANI can lend as little as
Interest rates vary between 6.75-9.25 percent, according to CANI. Their maximum term is 60 months.
A crucial part of attaining its status with the SBA was CANI's work with
At first glance, that might seem like a peculiar partnership; after all, CANI appears to be competing for loan business with Fifth Third. In reality, Hoffman said, the role of the microlender is to provide opportunities for borrowers who can't meet commercial standards for loans.
"We're after people who cannot get traditional loans," Hoffman said.
That's not to say they're bad risks. Some may be after loans that are too small for most commercial loan departments, Hoffman said. Others have lower credit scores than banks look for in customers.
"We'll take more risks than a traditional bank," he said, while also being careful with money CANI lends.
Hoffman said working with the SBA also brings the local group more access to technical assistance, such as providing workshops and instruction in financial literacy and writing business plans.
There's no one sort of business that qualifies for loans. Hoffman said food vendors, clothing stores and auto mechanics have been among CANI's loan recipients in the past.
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