San Antonio/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on March 04, 2024
San Antonio Bolsters Small Business Expansion with $100K Zero-Interest LoansSource: Facebook/City of San Antonio Economic Development

San Antonio's small business scene is getting a major financial boost with the City teaming up with LiftFund in a move that's aiming to put their money where their mouth is. Today the launch of an expanded Zero Percent Interest Loan Program was announced, offering up to $100,000 in interest-free loans to budding entrepreneurs and established businesses alike. Mayor Ron Nirenberg was optimistic about the initiative's potential impact saying, “Investing in our small businesses embodies our commitment to fostering innovation, generating employment, and bolstering the city's economic well-being." in a statement obtained by the City of San Antonio's official website.

With over 400,000 new business applications filed in 2023, up from the pre-pandemic figures of 175,000, San Antonio has become fertile ground for the enterprising spirit. It’s a stark contrast to quieter times, when many residents may have only dreamed of turning hobbies into fully realized businesses. Stephanie Scheller of Grow Disrupt is riding the wave of this entrepreneurial boom, focusing on helping ADHD entrepreneurs expand their businesses. Scheller shared her enthusiasm with FOX San Antonio, saying "In one sense the pandemic was really really good for that, San Antonio has always been I call it small business USA right this is where we have a huge number of mom-and-pop shops we have a huge number of small businesses,"

The program is for those seasoned businesses and also for newcomers planning to establish their footprint in the city. Furthermore, Ana Bradshaw, assistant director of economic development, emphasized the city's intention to invest in small businesses for their crucial role in the community's economic backbone."We know they are important to the community they’re important to our economic vitality and so you know that is something we really want to invest in growing them starting new small businesses and really having that broad cross-section across the community,"  Bradshaw described the sector's significance in one of the interviews granted to FOX San Antonio.

On the financial front, the program's $2 million chest is a collaboration of funds from San Antonio's Fiscal Year 2024 general fund, ARPA, and additional backing from LiftFund and Wells Fargo. Laurie Vignaud, President and CEO of LiftFund, marked the milestone, "Celebrating LiftFund's 30th anniversary, this year's zero-interest loan program launch signifies our steadfast commitment alongside the City of San Antonio to strengthen and elevate the local small business community. Our gratitude extends to Wells Fargo for augmenting our mission, helping us set the stage for a year filled with substantial growth and prosperity." she told the City's news release. Eligible small business owners looking to cash in on this financial boon can get the lowdown on the qualifications and application process by heading to LiftFund's website.

Since its inception in 2016, the City's Zero Percent Interest Loan Program has already seen the distribution of over $7 million in interest-free loans. This not only bolsters local livelihoods but has also contributed to a bustling job market, retaining and creating around 1,500 positions.