COOS COUNTY - Business loans are available to qualified applicants in Coos County through the Port of Bandon Economic Development Fund. The money can be used to start up, purchase or expand a business; buy inventory, augment cash flow and more.

The fund currently has approximately $300,000 to loan. The nonprofit is governed by an 11-member board that can meet quickly to render a decision once a loan application is completed.

Made possible through a federal relending program, the Port EDF can loan up to 75 percent of a project to a maximum of $250,000. The fund offers fixed-rate financing for up to 20 years. All loans must be fully collateralized.

“Generally, we are more open to start-up businesses and credit glitches than traditional lenders,” said Melody Gillard-Juarez, administrative aide. “Often business owners utilize the fund to get their business going and make the improvements they need now, and then refinance when their track record becomes appealing to the bank.”

The first step for a potential loan applicant is to obtain a turn-down letter from a bank because the fund does not compete with commercial lenders. However, if a bank agrees to finance a portion of the project, the Port EDF fund can take a second position. The fund is also able to partner with state programs, private investors and other sources. The interest rate is set by the Port Economic Development Fund Board and is generally 9 percent. There is no penalty for early repayment.

The second step is to complete a business plan. A template is provided to potential applicants.

Step three is to meet with representatives of CCD Business Development, a certified business development company which serves as the fund administrator to package and service loans. Theresa Haga and Michele Laird, CCD loan specialists, like to talk with the business principals to discuss the proposed project before the client begins the application.

For more information, potential applicants can contact Gillard-Juarez in Bandon at 541-404-5637 or by email: createjobs@harborside.com. The phone number for CCD’s office in Coos Bay is 541-756-4101.

The Port of Bandon Economic Development Fund was formed in the mid-1990s by the Port of Bandon Commission as a separate non-profit to apply for and loan $1.5 million in USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service funds pledged to create and expand jobs. Since that time, the relending program has approved and disbursed 39 loans totaling $4.8 million in revolved funds that created or saved more than 160 jobs.

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