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Venture Loan Fund

The Venture Loan Fund offers small businesses loans to Lawrence based existing and start-up businesses that cannot currently access financing from a traditional bank or credit union lender.


Lawrence is an entrepreneurial community with a disproportionately high number  of small and micro businesses.  While these businesses serve as the lifeblood of our local economy and are vital investors in local supply chains and employees, many have a hard time accessing traditional financing to start and grow.  Through innovation and collaboration, though, the Lawrence Venture Loan Fund fills this gap, helping to build wealth locally and contributing to the virtuous cycle of commerce. 


The fund is back-boned by the Lawrence Partnership leverages public, private and philanthropic investments around a shared goal:  more businesses starting and growing in Lawrence.

How It Works

The Fund is capitalized by 11 visionary financial institutions committing $100,000 each to create a $1.1 Million fund available for local lending (see full listing below). The Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF) supports with loan loss reserves to further off-set the risk of the loans.   We administer the loans and the program in close partnership with community development financial institution, Mill Cities Community Investments, who has both cultural competency and expertise working with small business.


Anchored by private capital and completed through close collaboration among other core partners, the Venture Loan Fund represents what is possible through a shared vision and a shared investment.

Loan recipients also benefit from additional technical assistance provided by MCCI and other partners that are part of our small business coalition.

Program Partners
Program Partners
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How to Apply
Program Guidelines

To Qualify Businesses Must Demonstrate:

  • The business owner(s) are 18 years of age or older

  • The business is located in Lawrence

  • The community would benefit from the business project

  • 20% investment into the business by the business owner

  • Willingness and capability to repay the loan

  • Business industries not applicable- Cannabis, Adult Entertainment, Firearms, Pyramid based, Real Estate/Stock speculation

Terms and Conditions:

  • Loans are between $5,000 and $100,000

  • Competitive interest rates

  • 1 to 5-year terms

  • 1% Closing fee

  • No Application Fee


Click here to schedule an appointment with a loan officer today! 

How to Apply
Required Documents
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