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Microloans offer a leg up locally too

August 12, 2012|By Laura Hautala, Los Angeles Times
  • Ivan Del Rosal, left, helps in the kitchen with his father, Edwin Del Rosal, co-owner of the small Cafe 22 health-food restaurant near L.A. County/USC Medical Center.
Ivan Del Rosal, left, helps in the kitchen with his father, Edwin Del Rosal,… (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times )

Microloans — the relatively small loans meant for burgeoning entrepreneurs — are best known for helping launch businesses in developing countries. But some microlenders operate right here in the U.S.:

Kiva, best known for its work abroad, recently brought its Kiva City program to Los Angeles. It partners with the Valley Economic Development Center to offer loans to small businesses that can have a hard time getting credit elsewhere. Call Valley at (213) 488-3599 to learn more.

Kabbage offers small loans specifically for online businesses. The company calls it an "advance" for your inventory — after clearing your credit history and other background factors, it deposits the funds in your PayPal account. Learn more at http://www.kabbage.com.

Opportunity Fund operates in the Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas, and its average loan size is about $7,000. It can be reached at 866-299-8173 or online at http://www.opportunityfund.org.

The city of Los Angeles has seven offices for its Small Business Development center that can help entrepreneurs learn about microfinancing in the area. Newly revamped this year, the program also helps small business owners learn about tax credits and disaster recovery. Find the nearest office by visiting smallbizla.org or calling (562) 938-5020.

Acción San Diego provides microfinance within the county of San Diego, with loans ranging from $300 to $35,000. They also offer small-business training on topics such as QuickBooks skills, social media, marketing and human resources. Find them at http://www.accionsandiego.org or call (619) 795-7250.

laura.hautala@latimes.com

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