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Financing Programs

The following local, state and federal financing programs are available to companies located in the City of St. Petersburg, Florida. These summaries are for informational purposes only and are not all inclusive. Businesses should obtain complete program guidelines from the providers. Many of these loan programs may require collateral or other underwriting considerations. Most programs require an application and/or other fees.

Most lenders are familiar with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs, so interested applicants could contact their local lender for further information on the SBA loan application process. Information on SBA loan programs, business management, counseling and training services are also available at the City of St. Petersburg's Business Assistance Center.

Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation (TBBBIC) Loan Programs

The Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, Inc. (TBBBIC) is a non-profit corporation that serves as a public-private partnership between local government and the corporate community. Eligible businesses must be owned and operated (at least 51%) by an African-American citizen.

Small Office Home Office Program

The Small Office Home Office Loan Program provides small business owners a $5,000 loan with a 7 year term, priced at 4.99% plus prime, no pre-payment penalty, minimal paperwork, bank paid technical assistance, as needed for the borrower and a fast approval.

This is an SBA express loan product funded by Innovative Bank of California and is a collaborative effort with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

For more information contact Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, Inc. at (727) 826-5785 or (813) 274-7925. Information is also available at the TBBBIC websitehttp://www.tampabaybbic.com

Micro Loan Program (View Official Narrative)

The Micro Loan Program provides short-term, low cost, fixed rate loans of up to a maximum of $5,000.  The business owner is required to provide an equity contribution of at least 10%.

Loan funds can be used for working capital and the purchase of business assets.  Funds cannot be used for religious organizations, adult entertainment, bars, lounges, refinancing of existing debt or by a business deriving more than 10% of revenue from sales of alcoholic beverages.

For more information contact Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, Inc. at (727) 826-5785 or (813) 274-7925.  Information is also available at the TBBBIC websitehttp://www.tampabaybbic.com

Direct Loan Program (View Official Narrative)

The Direct Loan Program provides low cost, fixed rate loans from $5,000 - $20,000.  The business owner is required to provide an equity contribution of at least 10%.

Loan funds can be used for working capital and the purchase of business assets.  Funds cannot be used for religious organizations, adult entertainment, bars, lounges, refinancing of existing debt or by a business deriving more than 10% of revenue from sales of alcoholic beverages.

For more information contact Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, Inc. at (727) 826-5785 or (813) 274-7925.  Information is also available at the TBBBIC websitehttp://www.tampabaybbic.com

Guaranteed Loan Program (View Official Narrative)

The Guaranteed Loan Program provides low cost, fixed rate loans up to a maximum of 50% or $75,000 of the total requested loan amount, whichever is less.  The business owner is required to provide an equity contribution of at least 10%.

Loan funds can be used for working capital and the purchase of business assets.  Funds cannot be used for religious organizations, adult entertainment, bars, lounges, refinancing of existing debt or by a business deriving more than 10% of revenue from sales of alcoholic beverages.

For more information contact Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, Inc. at (727) 826-5785 or (813) 274-7925.  Information is also available at the TBBBIC websitehttp://www.tampabaybbic.com

Clearwater Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. Micro Loan Program

A Micro Loan Program is administered by Clearwater Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. to provide financing for new, startup and existing small businesses, especially those in low and moderate income areas.  The business owner is required to provide an equity contribution and have a business plan.  The Micro Loan Program provides short-term, fixed rate loans of $2,500 - $10,000.

For more information contact Clearwater Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. at (727) 442-4155. 

Florida Venture Forum

The Florida Venture Forum, Inc. is Florida's oldest, largest and most prestigious statewide support group for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneurial networking group, the Florida Venture Forum educates entrepreneurs and assists them in identifying sources of venture capital.

Created in 1984 by a group of high-level business leaders and academicians, the goal of the Florida Venture Forum is to help ensure the success of Florida-based entrepreneurial ventures by offering expert counsel and educational advice. Throughout the year, the Florida Venture Forum provides programs on a statewide basis.

For more information visit http://www.flvencap.org/ , or contact Robin Kovaleski, Executive Director, Florida Venture Forum, P.O. Box 961, Tampa, FL 33601, 813-335-8116, email: Robin@floridaventureforum.org

Industrial Revenue Bonds (View Official Narrative)

Tax-exempt Industrial Revenue Bonds ("IRB's") are a type of municipal bond issued by state and local governments that offer below-market-rate financing to qualified projects.  IRB's are issued by Pinellas County on behalf of private companies to finance acquisition of land, buildings (new or existing) and new equipment and certain "soft costs" associated with a project.  Funds cannot be used for inventory, working capital or refinancing of existing debt. 

IRB's provide long-term, low cost, fixed rate loans of up to a maximum of $10 million.  While there is no minimum project size, $1 million is considered the minimum economically feasible amount.  These bonds are repaid from and secured by the revenues of the projects they finance.  Currently, IRB uses are limited and are usually for manufacturing projects. 

For more information contact Pinellas County Economic Development, (727) 464-7332.

Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program

The Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program provides front-end financing for large-scale physical development projects, where the project would not be economically feasible at current conventional interest rates.  The amount of funding is based on the number of jobs created for low and moderate income persons.  Projects must comply with Federal, state and local reporting requirements

For more information contact City of St. Petersburg, Economic Development Department, at (727) 893-7100.  

State of Florida Bond Programs  (View Official Narrative)

Enterprise Bond Fund Pool

Enterprise Bonds are designed to help Florida's small to medium-sized manufacturers by arranging bond financing into cost-effective groupings of smaller, individual project loans to form a larger composite project loan.  By spreading the costs among many borrowers, bond issuance costs are reduced to make tax-exempt financing more economical for smaller projects.

Enterprise Bonds are issued by the Florida Development Finance Corporation (FDFC), an affiliate of Enterprise Florida, Inc., to finance acquisition of land, construction or renovation of buildings and new equipment.  Funds cannot be used for inventory, working capital or refinancing of existing debt.

Through the program credit-worthy manufacturers and select non-profit organizations may qualify for long-term, tax-exempt, below conventional rate loans of $500,000 - $2 million.

For more information contact Enterprise Florida, Capital Development, at (407) 316-4740 or email tofinance@eflorida.com

Manufacturing Facility Bond Pool

The Manufacturing Facility Bond Pool enables the State to assist manufacturers in obtaining cost-effective financing for expansion or new to Florida projects.  This financing can be used for land acquisition, new facility construction and new equipment purchases.  Additional rules apply to the financing of an existing facility and/or acquisition of used equipment.  The Manufacturing Facility Bond Pool is limited to manufacturing projects and can issue bonds up to $10 million.

For more information contact Enterprise Florida, Capital Development, at (407) 316-4740 or email tofinance@eflorida.com

Florida First Business Bond Pool

The Florida First Bond Pool enables the State to assist Florida business projects that support the State's economic development policies.  Each projects capital investment must lead to the creation of a new business, the expansion of an existing business, or the retention of a business or a significant number or proportion of jobs. 

Eligible projects must create 10 new jobs and, if an expansion, increase their employment by at least 10%; pay an average wage that is at least 115% of the average wage of the area; and be one of the State's target industry sectors, OR the project must create a substantial economic benefit, implement a key economic development strategy of the State or community, or save a significant number of Florida jobs.  Environmental projects which assist the continuing operation of an existing Florida business are also eligible.

Projects that typically seek Florida First Bond Pool financing are either manufacturing projects or projects that are larger than $10 million and are not subject to the federal $10 million limit for tax-exempt revenue bonds.  Projects that address air or water quality, or solid waste management problems, are the most common examples of qualifying projects larger than $10 million. 

For more information contact Enterprise Florida, Capital Development, at (407) 316-4740 or email tofinance@eflorida.com

Federal Grants www.grants.gov

This site allows organizations to electronically find and apply for competitive grant opportunities from all Federal grant-making agencies.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans (View Official Narrative)

504 Certified Development Company Program (View Official Narrative)

The 504 Certified Development Company (CDC) Loan Program provides growing businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing.  A Certified Development Company is a non-profit corporation set up to assist the economic development within a specific geographic area.  CDC's work with the SBA and private-sector lenders to provide financing to small businesses.

504 loan proceeds must be used for fixed asset projects such as acquisition of land and improvements, buildings (new or existing), utilities and machinery and equipment.  The 504 program cannot be used for inventory, working capital, consolidating or refinancing of existing debt.

Typically, a 504 project includes a loan secured with a senior lien from a private-sector lender covering up to 50% of the project cost, a loan secured with a junior lien from the CDC (backed by a 100% SBA-guaranteed debenture) covering up to 40% of the project cost, and an equity contribution of at least 10% from the small business being helped. 

For projects that meet the SBA job creation criteria of creating or retaining one job for every $35,000 provided by the SBA, the maximum SBA debenture is $1 million.  For projects that meet a SBA public policy goal, the maximum SBA debenture is $1.3 million.

For more information contact the Gulfcoast Business Finance, Inc. at (727) 895-2504 or (800) 850-2504,www.gulfcoastbiz.com or email at gulfcoastbiz@tampabay.rr.com.  Information is also available from the SBA website http://www.sba.gov/financing/frcdc504.html

7(a) Loan Guaranty Program (View Official Narrative)

The 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program provides loans to small businesses unable to secure financing on reasonable terms through normal lending channels.  The program operates through private-sector lenders that provide loans which are, in turn, guaranteed by the SBA.

Loan proceeds can be used for most business purposes.  These may include purchase of real estate to house the business operations; construction, renovation or leasehold improvements; acquisition of furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment; and, working capital.  The 7(a) program cannot be used to finance floor plan needs; investment property; real estate where a forward commitment has been issued to a builder/developer; payments to owners or to pay delinquent taxes; or, to pay or refinance existing debt.

A maximum loan amount of $2 million has been established for 7(a) loans.  However, the maximum dollar amount the SBA can guaranty is generally $1 million. Small loans carry a maximum guaranty of 85%.  Loans are considered small if the gross loan amount is $150,000 or less.  For loans greater than $150,000, the maximum guaranty is 75%.

For more information contact your local lender or visit the SBA websitehttp://www.sba.gov/financing/fr7aloan.html 

SBA Loan Pre-Qualification Program (View Official Narrative)

The SBA Loan Pre-Qualification Program is designed to help small businesses with the small business loan application process.  This program is designed especially for borrowers within specific designated geographic areas, armed forces veterans, exporters, minorities, rural businesses and women.

A business is generally eligible for the program if the purpose of the loan is to start, operate or grow a business, and the business is organized for profit.  Existing businesses must have average annual sales for the three preceding years not exceeding $5 million, and the business employs no more than 100 employees, including affiliates.

The borrower works with an intermediary to prepare a business plan and complete a loan pre-qualification application.  The intermediary reviews the borrower's credit information, performs a loan analysis and submits the application to the SBA.  If approved, the borrower "shops" the pre-qualified loan to lenders interested in making SBA guaranteed loans, often with the intermediary's assistance.  

Local intermediaries:

St. Petersburg Certified Development Corporation.  This intermediary processes loan pre-qualifications for veteran, minority and women owned businesses only for loans of up to a maximum of $100,000.  The maximum SBA guaranty is 85% of the loan amount.

For more information contact the St. Petersburg Certified Development Corporation at (727) 895-2504 or (800) 850-2504.  Information is also available from your local lender or at the SBA websitehttp://www.sba.gov/financing

Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, Inc.  This intermediary processes loan pre-qualifications for veteran, minority and women owned businesses only for loans of up to a maximum of $250,000.  The maximum SBA guaranty is 85% for loans up to $150,000 and 75% for loans above $150,000.

For more information contact Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, Inc. at (727) 826-5785 or (813) 274-7925.  Information is also available at the TBBBIC websitehttp://www.tampabaybbic.com

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City of St. Petersburg
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