As a business owner or entrepreneur, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to check items off your to-do list. From unending meetings to meeting payroll, the life of a small business owner or entrepreneur is never dull. But, rest assured – help is here.
Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development partners with organizations to help streamline your efforts and remain competitive in the marketplace. “We partner with several groups that offer tools you may not know about. Our primary goal is to make sure you have the tools you need to help your business succeed. We are here to serve business owners, and help your dreams come true,” says Lara Fritts, SLC economic development director.
A few of these groups include: the SLC Economic Development Loan Fund, the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency, SCORE, and the Women’s Business Center.
Salt Lake City Economic Development Loan Fund
The Economic Development Loan Fund (EDLF) program focuses on increasing job growth, stimulating the economy, and enhancing neighborhood vitality. Through Salt Lake City Corporation, this program offers loans to startup and existing businesses. The program’s overarching goal is to invest in viable businesses that produce strong economic returns and provide positive social and environmental impacts.
The EDLF may be the right fit if: you are looking for a loan for business expansion, construction, real estate acquisition, energy-efficient upgrades, inventory, working capital, or marketing. The EDLF offers interest rate reduction incentives for businesses that support the City’s goals such as: geographic priority business areas, low to moderate income owners, veteran owners, disadvantaged owners, and e2 Green Businesses. Startups can apply for loans up to $100,000 and existing businesses up to $350,000.
In her own words. “The EDLF Program is a great resource for business owners. Through the program, the City has provided financing for a variety of Salt Lake City businesses including restaurants, bakeries, retail stores, salons, and more,” says Shelby Cox, Small Business Loan officer. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit slcgov.com/edlf.
The Redevelopment Agency
The Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City (RDA) plays a pivotal role in revitalizing areas in downtown. The RDA has the charge and financial tools to address blight and disinvestment in specific parts of Salt Lake City.
The RDA Loan Program provides critical gap financing for projects in designated RDA Project Areas that meet at least one Project Area Plan objective. The organization works with project developers and lenders to bridge the funding gap between a project’s economics and market realities. The RDA can assume higher risk than traditional lenders to ensure that transformative projects get built. While their approach is flexible, they incentivize projects that achieve the RDA’s goals for affordable housing, place-making, sustainability, high quality urban design, and economic development.
Project Highlight-Granary District. The RDA’s Granary District has been utilized as an industrial and railroad corridor. There are several buildings with potential to be used for other purposes. Such buildings are attractive to small business owners and entrepreneurs because of their affordable purchase prices and multi-use features.
The RDA established the Granary District Adaptive Reuse Loan Program, which offsets the economic challenges related to bringing existing buildings in the Granary District Project Area boundaries up to code. The RDA will loan up to $250,000 to qualifying borrowers to cover eligible expenses. At the end of the 5-year loan term, the RDA converts the principal into a grant and the borrower has no further obligation to repay the loan, pending the achievement of pre-determined additional requirements.
For more information contact Tammy.email@example.com or visit slcrda.com.
In her own words. “The RDA’s financial programs are designed to facilitate pioneering projects in Salt Lake City areas needing revitalization. Recently, the owners of the soon-to-open Fisher Brewing utilized our Granary District Adaptive Reuse Loan to help cover the expenses of transforming a pair of adjacent auto garages into a brewery and taproom. This locally owned, retail business will bring people to the Granary neighborhood, create jobs, and support placemaking.” says Tammy Hunsaker, project manager for the RDA.
SCORE is a national nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed. Their members include volunteers that have been senior executives, business owners, or professionals who offer their time to provide one-on-one mentoring for free to anyone who wants to start a business, or fix a problem with a business.
The organization offers workshops about how to start or operate successful businesses. They advise on topics from management, marketing, sales training, hiring, financing, incorporation (and other legal matters), business plans, viability studies, social media, and a multitude of other issues.
SCORE offers workshops and events to connect small business owners with the people and information they need to know. They also offer online workshops. Additionally, SCORE provides templates and tools to assist entrepreneurs in developing plans they need to navigate their way to small business success.
You may not know: A Price-Waterhouse-Coopers survey recently indicated in the past two years, volunteers of the Salt Lake Chapter have been credited with helping entrepreneurs start 428 new business, helping businesses grow and add 633 new jobs in addition to the business owners, and for clients already in business, 71% indicated that their SCORE mentoring resulted in measurable revenue increases.
In his own words. “Volunteering was never a part of my vision, but once I began with SCORE, it became infectious. By volunteering for SCORE, I get tickled in places that I didn’t know were ticklish! It’s an amazingly rewarding way to give back to the business community,” says Ron Baron. For more information contact RonMotivator@gmail.com or visit saltlake.score.org.
Women’s Business Center
The Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center (WBC) is a nonprofit organization that helps Utah women discover new opportunities, enjoy their entrepreneurial creations, and experience the success and freedom they desire. Their clients also include men.
They believe anyone can start and run a successful business with the right skills, resources, and support. The WBC provides free and low-cost services to entrepreneurs in Utah for training, consultation, and networking. They also provide business training with specialties in business planning and cash flow management.
Nearly 45% of their clients live or have a business located in Salt Lake City. The center recently launched a new website to provide online business training, such as How-Tos, webinars, and articles. The center also launched a video master course titled “Build Your Dream Company” to reach and assist women in rural Utah communities. Their newly established Virtual Women’s Business Centers encourages connections with like-minded individuals, and is hosted by Chambers of Commerce in Cache Valley, Box Elder, Tooele, Vernal, St. George and Moab.
In her own words: The Women’s Business Center, more than ever before, is able to help more women improve their lives through small business ownership. Our free in-person consulting remains an anchor to our Salt Lake City headquarters and we are excited about assisting women grow thriving business in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah,” says Ann Marie Wallace, executive director. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit wbcutah.com.