REAP lending also helps to leverage other funds. Part of our technical assistance is providing business planning services to REAP members. Quite often a REAP client completes their business plan in consultation with their area REAP Business Specialist, and then is able to secure a loan from a traditional lender, development district, community action agency, or a local loan fund.
Another service is helping to “package” loans to include other lenders in addition to the REAP loan fund. We leveraged $1,879,944 in the past year through our assistance. Historically, we have “leveraged” loans totaling $12,242,549. This lending and leverage created and/or retained 121.5 jobs.
In 1998, we discovered businesses who had used the REAP Peer Loan Program but had outgrown those loan levels. New micro entrepreneurs were also coming to us needing more capital than what could be met by the Peer Loans. As a result, the REAP Direct Loan Program was created and became permanent in 2000.
The Quick Grow Loan program began on February 1, 2002 as a collaborative effort between REAP and GROW Nebraska. This loan product was exclusively developed for use by GROW Nebraska clients. The Quick Grow Express Loan has a $5,000 maximum limit and can be used for startup and existing business purposes. It is designed for an easy borrower application process and a quick turnaround.
In the fall of 2005, we introduced the REAP Online Lending System, a user friendly web-based micro-loan application. In conjunction with the unveiling of this new system, we introduced a new loan product called the REAP Rapid Loan. The Rapid Loan is a micro loan with a $5,000 maximum limit that uses the online application. The online application also serves as the pre-application for a REAP Direct Loan above $10,000 and up to $35,000. In 2009 we improved the REAP Online Lending System’s programming, also simplifying the form and enhancing the administrative side.
It has always been REAP’s goal to meet the debt financing needs of startup and existing micro entrepreneurs in rural Nebraska – individually or by collaborating with partners. The REAP Lending Program is meeting this need most effectively. We are looking forward to adding additional lending products to our current product mix in the future. You can view REAP lending products here.
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