Venture Loan Fund

While many small and start up-businesses may have a hard time accessing traditional financing, we believe that many of them represent sound investments. Additionally, by investing in small businesses, we are also investing in their local supply chains, their employees and landlords. We are helping to build wealth locally and contributing to the virtuous cycle of commerce.

But these investments are only made possible through a shared commitment on behalf of a number of financial institutions and through their ability to work in concert to achieve a shared goal: more businesses starting and growing in Lawrence.

The Fund is comprised of 10 visionary financial institutions committing $250,000 each to create a $2.5 Million fund available for local lending (see full listing below). The City of Lawrence provides a 10% loan loss reserve to the fund and the program is administered by a local community development financial institution, Mill Cities Community Investments. 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 the Lawrence Small Business Connectors.

Program Partners
Program Guidelines

The Venture Loan Fund is intended to provide flexible, low cost financing to support a variety of business needs. It can be used for design work, construction, equipment purchase, inventory, and working capital; it can be used in collaboration with other other traditional financing or it can be stand-alone financing; it can support established or new business starts. But it can only support businesses in Lawrence. There is no minimum loan amount for the Venture Loan Fund, but each loan has a ceiling of $100,000.

How to Apply

A full loan application is required to apply for funding, but you can receive support in gathering together the required material required, including business planning support, through MCCI. To learn more and initiate your loan application, contact:

Aaron Lackman
Mill City Community Investments
(978) 258-2772 ext. 18

Karina Calderon
Lawrence Partnership

Derek Mitchell
Lawrence Partnership
(978) 655-5824

Required Documents to Apply
  • MCCI Loan application

  • Personal financial statement

  • If new venture (start-up /less than 2 years operations) business plan including financial projections

  • If existing business, plan and financial projections for new location

  • Principal(s) resume*

  • Two years tax returns (principals)

  • Two years business tax returns (existing)

  • Estimate or invoices for proposed use of funds

*Principals are considered anyone with a 10% or better interest in the business.