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1704 Bellefontaine St., Indianapolis, IN 46202

TechPoint features the Build Fund’s efforts to strengthen Indy business through mission-driven loans

In early September, the Build Fund was featured by TechPoint, an organization that works to promote and accelerate the growth of Indiana’s tech community through strategic community programs and initiatives led by an elite group of board members. TechPoint recognized the Build Fund by reporting on its effort to strengthen business in Indianapolis through mission-driven loans that particularly support businesses in the technology sector.

We launched the Build Fund in July 2015 in order to not only better understand communities through a small business loan fund, but also to spark economic development in these communities.

The City of Indianapolis provided a grant (plus other funding sources) to the Build Fund so that we are able to offer small business loans to companies that financial institutions don’t traditionally serve. What types of companies would this include? They include any industry that banks aren’t familiar with, areas in the city that are difficult to invest in, or owners of a business who don’t meet the bank’s requirements for credit.

“The Build Fund is uniquely serving Indianapolis with this type of loan structure to support economic development in underserved communities,” said Steven Meyer, King Park’s executive director.

Who can apply for a loan through the Build Fund?

New, relocating or expanding businesses that are creating new jobs and operate their business in underserved communities.

What is the average size of loans disbursed?

The loan pool is about $3.5 million and current loans range between $75,000 to $950,000, with most of them falling between $250,000 and $300,000.

What are some current Build Fund project businesses?

Hotel Tango Whiskey Distillery, Cannon Ball Brewing Company, Ash & Elm Cider Company, R&B Architects, and Shoefly Public House

How can a business apply for a loan through the Build Fund?

Operating businesses should provide the past three years of financial statements. New or not-yet-launched businesses will share their business plans. This information will be reviewed in person so that we may get a better vision for what the money will be used for. The application will then go to a loan committee of commercial bankers and community advocates that review the social impact of the business.

What is the goal of the Build Fund?

According to Meyer, the goal is “to provide 10 to 15 loans per year, while focusing on industries where there is a demand for loan products that the Build Fund can handle… We’d like to diversify our portfolio and offer more loans to minority- and women-owned businesses, and other industries where there is a need for such capital… We are particularly interested in supporting businesses in industries like the technology sector that have a difficult time securing financing from traditional financial institutions.”

To view the original article from TechPoint, click HERE.

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