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FitzGerald Commemorates "National Start a Business Month"

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Jeane' Holley - (216) 698-2544


CLEVELAND - Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald commemorates "National Start a Business Month" for the month of March by highlighting the success of the Cuyahoga County Western Reserve Fund Microenterprise Loan Program.

"The Microenterprise Loan Program is another example of the county and other economic development organizations coming together to assist, educate and offer services to entrepreneurs who are willing to open a small business in our region - growing jobs and strengthening our local economy," said Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

Cuyahoga County created the Micro-enterprise Revolving Loan Fund (MRLF) for the purpose of providing access to capital and financial counseling to micro-enterprise businesses and entrepreneurs unable to obtain traditional financing for their creative small business ventures. The program provides micro-loans ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 to qualified small businesses that can be helped with modest loans and can attain traditional financing within three to five years. The County entered into a contract with Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) to administer the MRLF and provide technical assistance to both start-up and established small businesses toward achieving these objectives. The ECDI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit economic development organization, started in 2004. The mission of ECDI is to invest in people to create measurable and enduring social and economic change.

Since the inception of MRLF, ECDI has closed on 21 Micro-enterprise Revolving Fund assisted loans to small business entrepreneurs, where over a total of $749,000 has been received in total financing A total of 60 jobs have been created and 56 jobs have been retained. Businesses that have benefited from the MRLF program include fabric manufacturer, farmer's market, transportation company, specialty retailers, spirit distiller, restaurants, cafes and commercial cleaner.