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New initiative could help small Arizona business get capital

(Stocksnap Photo)

Small and medium-sized Arizona businesses could be getting more access to loans thanks to a new initiative.

The “Access to Capital Initiative” offers loans of $5,000 to $5 million to small and mid-sized businesses that have had challenges securing funding.

“If you look at Arizona small businesses, particularly Hispanic small businesses, they really are small,” said Arizona congressman David Schweikert. “They’re often very family-centric; were cobbled together with friends and family capital.”

Partially because of that, he said, traditional banks are not able to see the paper-trail they would need to approve a loan for that business.

“So in that case, if you’re going to reach out and say, ‘I need 50 thousand dollars to buy this piece of equipment,’ a lot of our regulated institutions or community banks couldn’t actually give that loan if they wanted to,” Schweikert said.

The new initiative is an online platform that connects the businesses to more than 30 lenders.

However platform representatives said the loans are “risk adjusted” and could be at least twice, on the low end, the six to 15 percent interest rate of a normal loan.

Lea Márquez-Peterson, with the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said once people have gone to traditional banks and are rejected, this is an option.

“We think that this concept (Monday) that we’re launching in partnership with Credit Junction and Fundera offers alternative financing options to small businesses throughout the state,” Márquez-Peterson said.

The initiative has been supported by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

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