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

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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