Bradenton CRAs Consider Loan Program

Todays News

Map Courtesy city of Bradenton

Bradenton’s Community Redevelopment Agency is expected to approve a Loan Loss Reserve Program to streamline access to loans for business owners in designated areas.

“The overarching goal of the Loan Loss Reserve Program is to provide current and prospective business owners in the CRA access to low-cost capital in order to establish a pathway towards financial stability and wealth creation,” reads a memo by Katerina Gerakios-Siren, executive director of Bradenton’s CRA programs.

The CRA advisory board will meet at 1 p.m. in City Hall today, where it will discuss a program that will be spearheaded by the Financial Access Federal Credit Union. Bradenton has three Community Redevelopment Areas covering more than 1,500 acres of the city. Each one has its own trust funds and tax increment finance revenue sources, and each will supply up to $10,000 this fiscal year and up to $30,000 in the next one for the program.

The credit union will provide current or prospective business owners within the CRAs with debt restructuring loans, high-interest auto loan refinancing and access to business loans are lower interest rates.

“This program will be utilized as a credit enhancement tool that will allow Financial Access to provide capital through loans to credit- and capacity-challenged business owners who will benefit from the below-market interest rates,” Gerakios-Siren wrote. “These current/prospective business owners will also have access to business operation assistance from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and comprehensive financial and credit literacy programs including credit and financial counseling, personal finance analysis, budget creation, credit score tracking, and other financial literacy tools at no cost to them.”

If loans go into default, the credit union plans to transfer money from an established reserve fund to offset losses. The credit union plans to offer loans until a $5 million loan pool gets exhausted, at which point it will tap into $1 million available through the U.S. Treasury Department

Map Courtesy city of Bradenton

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