Author: Sam Buisman
The City of Madison partners with an online micro-lender to offer no-interest and no-fee loans to local small businesses.
According to a press release from the Mayor’s Office, the city is partnering with the nonprofit group Kiva, which offers loans as little as $25 to small businesses without interest or fees, by committing $100,000 to match Kiva loans to qualifying businesses. For loans of $1,000 to $15,000, the City of Madison will match the loan at no extra cost if the receiving business has been endorsed by local Black, Hmong, Latino, Women’s or community-based commerce groups.
Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway contextualized this partnership in a press release as part of the city’s fight against COVID-19.
“Madison’s small businesses and entrepreneurs are a critical part of our economy,” wrote the Mayor. “They drive job creation and provide opportunities for wealth building in communities of color. During these unprecedented times, it is up to us all to find ways to support them.”
According to its website, Kiva is an online, non-profit microlender that has lent out over $1.2 billion since its founding in 2005. Through operating as a non-profit and sourcing its loans from large and small-dollar donors, Kiva can lend money to businesses typically passed over for loans and in small amounts.
According to the Office of the Mayor, Kiva has been providing loans to Madison businesses since January 2019.
Businesses interested in applying for such a loan or donors looking to help Madison small businesses can find more information at kivaushub.org.