ECDI small business loan program

A message from Global Cleveland:

The City of Cleveland has earmarked $50,000 for immigrant businesses. See below for a great ECDI’s small business loan program:

Program Overview: ECDI small business loan program
(updated November 2013)

The Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit economic development organization founded in Columbus, Ohio in 2004 and opened a Cleveland office in July 2012.  ECDI’s mission is to invest in people to create measurable and enduring social and economic change.

ECDI’s primary goal is to assist in the establishment, stabilization, or expansion of microenterprise by combining business training and technical assistance with necessary capital.  ECDI’s Microenterprise Loan Program provides loans up to $75,000 to start-up, newly-established, or growing microenterprises and up to $350,000 for existing businesses that do not qualify for conventional bank loans due to insufficient credit history, collateral, or business experience.

ECDI administers loans from multiple sources, each with particular objectives and eligibility criteria.  The annual fixed interest rate is determined by the source of funds used to capitalize the loan, but ranges from 5.75% to 12%. Loan terms range from 6-60 months. In addition to traditional loan products, interest-free fee-based loans are available for borrowers whose religious beliefs preclude them from paying interest. Fees for training and loan origination apply.

Eligible uses of loans include:

  • Establishment of a new business
  • Expansion of an existing business
  • Job creation and/or retention
  • Purchase of equipment/machinery/supplies or inventory
  • Start-up operating costs and working capital

Ineligible uses of loans include:

  • ¬†Real estate purchases

In order to go through the underwriting process, applicants are required to:

  • Proof¬†that¬†you‚Äôve¬†been¬†turned¬†down¬†by¬†a¬†bank
  • Submit an acceptable business plan, two years of cash flow projections, and a projected profit and loss statement (existing businesses must provide at least one year of actual financials in addition to the projections). Training opportunities are available for those who do not currently have or need additional help completing a business plan and financials. ¬†
  • Submit¬†documents¬†showing¬†the¬†applicant‚Äôs¬†ability¬†to¬†repay¬†the loan (income tax returns, personal financial statements)

The following applicants are required to provide personal guarantors for the repayment of the loan:

  • Applicants with credit scores below 600
  • Applicants with a personal bankruptcy discharged less than three years prior to application
  • Those with less that 100% collateral to secure the loan

Please visit our website for more information at or contact Amanda Musarra at 216-912-5655 or by email at  We look forward to working with you to create jobs and successful small businesses.