New small business lending program has provided more than $200,000 to Philly small businesses in 6 months
Philadelphia, June 4, 2015 – The City of Philadelphia and Kiva City Philadelphia celebrated the success of the program during its first 6 months of operation with a Pop-Up Shop at Dilworth Park. Last December, Kiva.org and the City announced the launch of Kiva City Philadelphia, an initiative that crowdfunds 0% interest microloans for small business owners and entrepreneurs in the Greater Philadelphia region. The Pop-Up Shop featured 7 Kiva City Philadelphia borrowers who sold everything from handmade, all natural peanut butter made by PB & Jams, to photobooth fun by Boothastic.
“The City of Philadelphia is excited about the impact that Kiva is having in our great city,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Director of Commerce. “The program is achieving exactly what we hoped it would when it was launched: providing much needed access to capital for small businesses in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. Now, we are striving for Kiva to have long-lasting and sustainable impact. For this to occur we need community support, and that’s part of the reason we are out here today. We are hoping to educate the community and attract more Philadelphians to become lenders.”
Kiva has had an impact on Philadelphia’s small business community since its December launch. At that time, the program had funded 12 loans for a total of $57,000. Today, six months later, Kiva has funded 41 additional loans (total of 53 loans funded), for an additional $165,000 (total of $222,000).
Not only is Kiva City Philadelphia funneling capital into the local economy, but it is also impacting a diverse range of communities: 64% of the businesses that have received Kiva loans in Philadelphia are owned by ethnic minorities, more than 60% of the businesses are in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, and 77% of the businesses are less than 3 years old. The loans are also providing growth to the businesses, with 62% of surveyed Kiva City Philadelphia businesses reporting customer growth since they received the loans, and 31% reporting an increase in employees.
Pete Merzbacher of Philly Bread just began fundraising for his second Kiva loan, and has seen demand in his business rise, causing him to hire new employees. “Since we raised our first loan from Kiva, we have grown in big ways. One year ago, Philly Bread was mostly a one man operation that baked four days a week. Today, there are 6 full time staff and two part time people, and today we are able to mill our own grains.”
Kiva City Philadelphia is making a strong push to get Philadelphia residents more involved in the economic development of their city by lending to local, small businesses on Kiva.org/Philadelphia. Lenders have the ability to support the businesses and local products they believe in, and help contribute to their neighborhoods and other neighborhoods throughout the city.
The website provides information on the program’s grant providers, matched loan providers, and trustees. Lenders can choose to loan as little as $5 to a business of their choosing. Once the loan has been fully funded, the business owner will receive the funds, and start paying back lenders the next month. The funds will then go back into the lenders account where they can choose to either relend to other small businesses, or they can move the funds back into their bank account.
For more information on Kiva City Philadelphia, please visit: Kiva.org/Philadelphia.