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Loans for Local Producers

A new option for independent local producers.
April 10, 2009
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/201226

Funding may seem scarce for most businesses right now, but there's a new option for independent local producers. Whole Foods Market is helping independent local producers expand and grow their businesses through its Local Producer Loan Program, which lends up to $10 million annually and accepts applications on a rolling basis. Applicants must be a local producer of a high-quality product, have adequate cash flow to cover debt, present a viable business plan and preferably be located near a Whole Foods Market. Ready to apply? Click here for more information.

Daniel Korson and Matthew Rogers, 27 and 30, respectively, are recipients of the Local Producer Loan. Although the program is generally reserved for existing entrepreneurs wanting to expand their business, the pair was able to secure $20,000 for their startup, Coracao Confections, an Emeryville, Calif.-based chocolate company that uses all organic ingredients, antioxidant-rich raw cacao and low glycemic sugars. Although it took four months for them to get approved for the loan, the funding was crucial in helping the founders get their business off the ground last August, especially because friends, family, banks, community lenders and angel investors had all turned them down. Now they project year-end sales to reach $200,000.

What should you know before applying?