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Microenterprise Loan Fund Program





Cuyahoga County created the Microenterprise Loan Fund Program (MLFP) for the purpose of providing access to capital and technical assistance to microenterprise businesses and entrepreneurs unable to obtain traditional financing for their creative small business ventures. The program provides microloans 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 MLFP is an effort to grow the number and size of enterprises owned by economically disadvantaged populations, expand access to capital for underserved local communities, and sustain a capital system that generates economic opportunities for all residents. The County entered into a contract with the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) to administer the MLFP and provide technical assistance to both startup and established small businesses toward achieving these objectives.

The Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit economic development organization, started in 2004, and headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. In 2012, ECDI opened its Cleveland-based office to focus on micro lending in Cuyahoga County. Its mission is to invest in people to create measurable and enduring social and economic change. The Institute provides innovative microenterprise capitalization programs and development training, business incubation services, financial literacy training and other programs and services geared to create jobs, increase access to assets, and spur local economic development. ECDI is a U.S. Treasury Department-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and is the 3rd largest U.S. Small Business Administration intermediary micro lender in the country. Since its inception, ECDI has invested over $25 million in small businesses and entrepreneurs. 


Who Is Eligible 

  • For-Profit Businesses Located in Cuyahoga County 
  • Be Current With All Taxes
  • The Borrower is Required to Participate in Business Training and Technical Assistance


Use Of Funds 

  • Establishment of a New Business (less than one year of operation)
  • Expansion of an Existing Business (one or more years of operation)
  • Purchase of Equipment, Machinery or Supplies/Inventory
  • Startup Operating Costs/Working Capital (limited to no more than 50% of total loan request)
  • Other uses may be considered but may be limited by program policies


  • Loan Amount: $10,000 to $100,000
  • Term/Repayment: 6 to 60 months
  • Security/Collateral/Guarantor(s): Priority lien on business assets, personal guarantees.

How To Apply 

Interested businesses should contact ECDI directly to begin the loan process. Application information includes but is not limited to:

  • ECDI Application Form
  • Business Plan

 Download Microenterprise Brochure


For More Information Contact: 

ECDI Cleveland Contacts
Gregory Zucca


Cuyahoga County Contact
Bob Flauto

Aurora Petroff



2013-2014 Report to the Community

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