GREENVILLE, S.C. – Appalachian Development Corp., an economic development non-profit in Greenville, is the first institution in South Carolina to qualify as a lender through the SBA’s Community Advantage Program. Launched in 2011, Community Advantage is a pilot loan program that helps underserved small businesses--such as start-ups--access up to $250,000 in financing through non-profit financial intermediaries. Appalachian will make Community Advantage loans to qualified businesses in Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union counties.
“We are pleased Appalachian Development Corp. has led the initiative to make the Community Advantage Program available in South Carolina,” said Elliott Cooper, district director of the SBA South Carolina District Office. “By introducing the Community Advantage loans, Appalachian is increasing financing opportunities for our state’s small businesses.”
Appalachian will use the Community Advantage Program to increase financing opportunities for new and developing businesses, which are often overlooked by more traditional lenders.
“We feel that the financing needs of Upstate small businesses, especially those that are new or developing and seeking smaller loans, are not being met by the financial industry right now,” said David Mueller, executive director of Appalachian. “Our mission with Community Advantage is to meet these financing needs.”
The Community Advantage Program includes a technical and management assistance component for borrowers, which Appalachian will fulfill through its partnerships with Upstate non-profit and educational institutions, such as Visions International, Tri-County Technical College, and the Greenville and Spartanburg chambers of commerce.
Appalachian Development Corp. is a non-profit economic development lending organization that serves the Upstate. Its other financing programs include its Appalachian Loan Fund, the SBA 504 Loan Program, the SBA Microloan Program and the USDA Rural Development Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. For more information, see www.appalachiandevelopmentcorp.com.
For more information on Communty Advantage and SBA's other Advantage programs, visit www.sba.gov/advantage.