La Luz Microloan Program Paying Off
Posted on October 17, 2016 by Sonoma Valley Sun
Noemi Vasquez, center, is the first participant of the La Luz Microloan Program to pay off one of the low-interest loans available to boost small business in the Springs. Joining her at a breakfast celebration at La Luz are Donna Halow, chair of the loan committee, and Simon Blattner, who funded the program with his wife Kimberly. A part-time seamstress, Vasquez used her loan to buy an industrial sewing machine and now has her own business.
The microloans – guaranteed by the Blattners seed money through La Luz and administered at no extra charge by Exchange Bank – are meant for small businesses that would not otherwise qualify for a loan. A good relationship with lenders helps build credit and future security, Simon Blattner said.”It levels the playing field.”
Loans of $2,500 to $10,000 have been made to a restaurant, wholesale baker, and an auto repair shop, in the Springs and beyond.
La Luz is looking for more loan applicants, and more funders to help expand the program.