To reach more retail and service industries in Adams County, the Adams Economic Alliance has started the Spark Loan Program.
The revolving loan fund is aimed at helping small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic by sparking investment and growth.
The alliance comprises three organizations – Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA), and Adams County General Authority (ACGA).
“Adams Economic Alliance is excited to offer the brand-new Spark Loan Program in our toolkit to support those industries most impacted by the pandemic,” Kaycee Kemper, vice president of Adams Economic Alliance, said in an email.
“Our focus is on the retail and service sectors and supporting socially economically disadvantaged individuals as business owners. One of the most beautiful aspects of the Spark Loan program, however, is its design–as a revolving loan fund that will continue to support and spark Adams County’s small businesses well into the future.”
To be eligible, a small business must be for-profit and have less than 500 employees. All small businesses that meet requirements are eligible to apply. Among those particularly encouraged to apply are retail and service industries, along with socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDI-owned businesses) and very small businesses (VSBs).
Small business owners can use Spark Loans for the following:
- Acquire equipment or inventory.
- Acquire working capital.
- Pay soft, start-up or franchise costs.
- Produce, manufacture, or deliver goods or services.
- Purchase real estate, do construction, renovation, or tenant improvement.
- Refinance existing debt (conditions apply).
As part of the Pennsylvania State Small Business Credit Initiative (PA-SSBCI), the Spark Loan Program was established with federal funding through the Federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Reauthorized by the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the SSBCI was instituted as a response to the economic effects of the pandemic and is administered by the Department of the Treasury.
Kemper said in a statement on the company’s site that as there “is strength in numbers, so the alliance developed a strategic plan and partnership with the EDC Finance Corporation, based in Lancaster, to administer these loans to the Adams and Lancaster County communities together.”
The first round of funding available to qualified small businesses is $236,930 with two more tranches planned.
“Once we begin the lending process, the program will constantly reseed and replenish itself, helping Adams County small businesses for years to come,” Kemper said.