New Lending Program has Provided More than $200,000 to Philly Small Businesses
Announced at the end of 2014, Kiva City Philadelphia is celebrating a successful first 6 months of lending. The Philadelphia program is part of a broader strategy created by Kiva to provide micro loans to small business.
“The City of Philadelphia is excited about the impact that Kiva is having in our great city,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Director of Commerce. “The program is achieving exactly what we hoped it would when it was launched: providing much needed access to capital for small businesses in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. Now, we are striving for Kiva to have long-lasting and sustainable impact. For this to occur we need community support, and that’s part of the reason we are out here today. We are hoping to educate the community and attract more Philadelphians to become lenders.”
A Philly spokesperson explains that their Kiva City program has had a positive impact since launch. Today Kiva has funded over 40 loans for more than $220,000.
The city provides some internal stats:
- 64% of the businesses that have received Kiva loans in Philadelphia are owned by ethnic minorities,
- more than 60% of the businesses are in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods
- 77% of the businesses are less than 3 years old
- 62% of surveyed Kiva City Philadelphia businesses reporting customer growth since they received the loans
- 31% reporting an increase in employees.
Pete Merzbacher of Philly Bread was quoted on his experience;
“Since we raised our first loan from Kiva, we have grown in big ways. One year ago, Philly Bread was mostly a one man operation that baked four days a week. Today, there are 6 full time staff and two part time people, and today we are able to mill our own grains.”
Kiva City Philadelphia allows lenders to loan as little as $5 to a business of their choosing. Once the loan has been fully funded, the business owner will receive the funds, and start paying back lenders the next month. The funds will then go back into the lenders account where they can choose to either re-lend to other small businesses, or they can move the funds back into their bank account.