RCDG Small Business loan program

MANSFIELD -– The Richland Community Development Group (RCDG), an affiliate of the Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development, announced Wednesday the creation of the RCDG Small Business Loan Fund with roughly $194,000.

This project, in partnership with three local lenders, is a loan program with collateral enhancement aimed at helping to support Richland County small businesses.

Many local small businesses may need extra capital to help them fully reopen after the pandemic caused large scale shutdowns, but often have no additional assets to use as collateral to obtain a loan, officials said.

With this program, companies will apply to a participating local bank for a loan, and these RCDG funds will be used as additional collateral for the bank to make the loan.

Participating banks for this project include Mechanics Bank, Richland Bank, and Sutton Bank.

RCDG will be able to allocate up to $10,000 of collateral per loan. The terms of the loan (amount, interest rate, and repayment period) will vary by financial institution, but will be generally favorable for a small business.

“Our banking partners are working to help the small business community through this difficult time as well," said Barrett Thomas, director of economic development for the Chamber. “We are looking for companies where $5,000 to $10,000 makes a difference for their business.

"Funds can be used for a variety of business purposes. It is not restricted by industry, but they do need to be a for-profit business located in Richland County. They will be subject to normal underwriting standards, proving that they will have the cash flow to repay the loan," Thomas said.

The application for this program will be handled through the partner lenders and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all the funds have been awarded.

“Small, locally owned businesses are the lifeblood of a thriving community and add uniqueness and vibrancy to our downtowns and neighborhoods,” Thomas said. “They have been heavily impacted by the pandemic and associated shutdowns and we want to help assist with their survival.”

Despite the assistance of federal programs such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Thomas said there is still a need to help fund local companies and assist in their recovery.

“The Chamber & RCDG have worked to assist local businesses in a variety of ways throughout the pandemic,” said Jodie Perry, Chamber President & CEO. “We are excited to have a new tool to be able to use to assist our businesses. I want to thank the local leaders of Mechanics Bank, Richland Bank, and Sutton Bank for partnering with us for this program.”

For more information about the RCDG Small Business Loan Fund, visit the Chamber’s website at www.RichlandAreaChamber.com and click “Economic Development”.

Thomas can be reached at 419-522-3211 or via email at bthomas@chooserichland.com. Local bank representatives can be reached as noted below:

-- Mechanics Bank – Sally Gesouras - 419-524-0831 ext.1689 - sgesouras@mymechanics.com

-- Richland Bank – Clayton Herold – 419-525-8769 - cherold@richlandbank.com

-- Sutton Bank – Scott Them - 419-747-2007 – sthem@suttonbank.com

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