Kiva loan program launches in Salisbury, offers options for minority and women business owners

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 28, 2021

SALISBURY — A national loan program that provides women and minorities zero-interest and zero-fee micro-loans recently launched in Salisbury.

Offered by Self-Help Credit Union, the Kiva loan program expands safe and affordable loan options for small business borrowers who may not have access to traditional sources. Self-Help Credit Union is partnering with the cities of Salisbury and Statesville and Livingstone College to offer loans of up to $15,000 through Kiva.

“We are excited to partner with the Cities of Salisbury and Statesville in their efforts to support minority and women owned small businesses as that’s a focus area of ours already,” Claudie Johnson, Self-Help Credit Union city executive for the Charlotte, NC region, said in a news release. “Being able to leverage the Kiva platform will enable us to assist even more small businesses as our minimum loan is $25,000.”

Many female and minority business owners have been unable to get loans from traditional funding sources, particularly because loans under $25,000 may be difficult to secure.

The loans are made possible through Kiva Piedmont North Carolina, a microfinancing platform that builds on partnerships between local governments, small businesses and their surrounding neighborhoods to expand their impact.

Interested borrowers should apply at kiva.com/borrow. If approved, borrowers in Charlotte, Salisbury, Statesville and other nearby areas will be able to benefit from matching dollar-for-dollar grants from the city government.

“Economic vitality for all Salisburians is one of the key tenets of Salisbury City Council,” Salisbury Mayor Karen K. Alexander said in a news release. “The local Kiva business loan program allows for a financially-inclusive world where everyone has the power to improve their lives through means where they have been traditionally shut out. Our matching funds initiative demonstrates to residents that their small-business goals are accessible, attainable and actionable. Kiva is a perfect opportunity to empower micro-entrepreneurs and minority and women-owned businesses.”

Founded in 2005, Kiva is a San Francisco-based international nonprofit that enables individuals to crowdfund loans – enabling greater access to capital and financial services.

Self-Help, headquartered in Durham, NC, is one of the largest community development financial institutions in the nation.  Since 1980, Self-Help has provided more than $9.3 billion in financing to over 175,700 families, families, individuals and businesses.

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About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at ben.stansell@salisburypost.com.

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