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Lakewood Businesses Now Eligible for Community Development Block Grants

For Immediate Release

Contact Information:
Ellie Chambers-Grady
(253) 983-7834

Krista Hildebrand
(503) 467-4686

Lakewood Businesses Now Eligible for Community Development Block Grants

New loan program to spur job growth through small local companies

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (July 28, 2010)

Small companies located in the city of Lakewood, from start-ups to those that are well-established, now have a new funding source that will help them grow their businesses.

Knowing that the success of local small businesses is a vital component to long-term economic prosperity of the community, Lakewood city officials have allocated Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding that is specifically designed to create and retain permanent jobs at for-profit companies.

"This particular CDBG program has been created for small- to medium-sized businesses that may be undercapitalized and therefore not able to secure loans through traditional banks," said City of Lakewood Economic Development Manager Ellie Chambers-Grady. "The ultimate outcome of these loans is job creation, which will in turn benefit the entire community."

The total amount of the CDBG loan pool is approximately $75,000. From this pool, local business owners can apply for loans up to $35,000. For a business to be eligible, 51 percent of the employees they hire through the loan program must be low to moderate income and the business must create at least one new job within two years for every $35,000 borrowed. Additionally, businesses need to be defined as a microenterprise, which is a company with five or fewer employees (one of which can be the owner) and need to be located in the city of Lakewood.

In addition, there is a $12,000 Technical Assistance Grant Program designed to help small businesses with all aspects of starting and running a business, including marketing, management, finance and strategic planning. Trained counselors, from South Sound Washington Business Center are also available to help clients with their business plans, cash flow projections and loan applications.

The new CDBG program is being administered through Community Capital Development, a nonprofit economic development organization that, as a part of its mission, promotes lending and economic opportunities to under-served populations. In addition to CDBG loans, Community Capital Development has another $75,000 made available through private funding sources that can be used in tandem with CDBG funds.

Business owners can apply for CDBG loans through the South Sound Washington Business Center at www.sswbcseattleccd.com. Each applicant will be judged on its current financial status, financial history, and business plan as well as other qualifiers. Interest rates for the loan are determined on a case-by-case basis.

About Lakewood, Washington
Lakewood is the second largest city in Pierce County and the fifteenth largest in Washington. It is strategically located between Sea-Tac International Airport and Olympia, the state's capital. The city is home to 60,000 residents and nearly 1,100 businesses. Lakewood also is the host community to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray. In 2008, Lakewood was named one of the nation's One Hundred Best Communities for Young People by America's Promise Alliance for the third year. In addition to vibrant residential and business communities, the city offers a myriad of recreational opportunities for residents and tourists including: five lakes offering water skiing, rowing, and fishing; five golf courses; Fort Steilacoom Park, and Lakewold Gardens, to name a few. The city also is the gateway to: Chambers Bay Golf Course, selected as home to the 2015 U.S. Open; Mt. Rainier National Park; and Puget Sound waterways and islands. For more information on Lakewood, visit www.cityoflakewood.us