JANUARY 31, 2012 (LINCOLN, NEB.) Eligible nonprofit organizations now have until March 15 to apply for up to as much as $700,000 in grant funding per year in 2012 and 2013 through the state's Microenterprise Lending Program. Administered through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), the program is part of the Governor's Talent & Innovation Initiative (T12) passed last May by the Nebraska Legislature.
Eligible applicants include Nebraska-based non-profit organizations located within the state. Such applicants must demonstrate that the organization and at least one key staff member has at least five years of experience as a lender, preferably lending to microenterprises in Nebraska.
Eligible applicants must qualify as micro-loan delivery organizations that have Internal Revenue Service (IRS) designation as a 501(c)(3), or submit verification from an attorney that the applicant operates as a 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(6) organization. All applicants must have current Certificates of Good Standing from the Nebraska Secretary of State at the time of application.
Eligible projects include funding for a revolving loan fund to make loans to eligible microenterprises in distressed areas and limited general administration costs.
Priority will be given to applicants that:
- have previous experience and a successful track-record as an organization in providing loans to microenterprises;
- employ at least one key staff person who demonstrates previous experience and a successful track-record in providing loans to microenterprises; and
- demonstrate the micro-lending fund will fill a financing gap that is both needed and that microenterprises are interested in accessing.
Minimum grant amounts per project are estimated at around $200,000 with no more than $20,000 or 5 percent of the total micro-lending grant, whichever is lesser, to be used for general administration costs.
The awardee will provide matching funds of money, in-kind contributions, or both equal to no less than 35 percent of the total micro-lending grant.
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