“A huge shout out of gratitude for providing financial assistance through the revolving loan fund program,” Hess said. “It will help me bring The Occasional Collective to fruition by getting the building up to code and providing the much-needed improvements.”
Many micro, startup and small businesses are considered “not yet bankable” by traditional commercial lenders for lacking enough collateral or capital investment to secure a loan. Because of that, NEF and the Iowa Revolving Loan Fund partner with other micro development organizations, nonprofits and financial institutions to encourage entrepreneurship in Nebraska and southwest Iowa. Together, the groups support the development and growth of an ecosystem where micro and small businesses are leading the way in job creation, asset development and community vitality. The Iowa West Foundation and the Charles E. Lakin Foundation are among NEF’s top stakeholders.
“It’s about investing in the community and providing an environment that is conducive to new ideas that can be brought back to main street,” Reiff said. “Our organization and partners are committed to helping micro and small business owners who, while talented and innovative, may feel like opportunities for advancement are out of their reach.”
Fresh Out of the Box’s owners allocated their loan to purchase two refrigerated delivery vehicles for traveling to locations where lockers are placed to avoid spoiled food. At the same time, Ramsey’s Market is using the vans to continue grocery delivery to the homes of residents who are local to Lenox and Manning.