Small businesses have turned for help to stay afloat through an online platform called Kiva U.S. which the City of Oklahoma City has developed a partnership with allowing a small business to get up to $15,000.
The Kiva loan is for nontraditional borrowers and Fertile Ground in Oklahoma City is the first business to take advantage of it.
They found out about the Kiva program a few years ago and started doing it through the Tulsa hub. Now, businesses in Oklahoma City have the chance to do it with the new Oklahoma City hub.
“We were really excited about the model because it allows people to crowdsource funding for a new business idea and provides funding through community members and trust,” said Terry Craghead with Fertile Ground.
Craghead said the Kiva loan bridged the gap for them which allowed the cooperative to take off.
“We do that primarily through recycling services we provide to homes and businesses,” said Craghead. “We also provide organic recycling which is composting so we compost people’s homes, restaurants and businesses.”
With the Kiva hub in Oklahoma City, it will allow small businesses to not rely on finding relief in local and national stimulus programs.
If approved for the loan, businesses have the chance to raise up to $7,500 which is then matched by a local loan fund.
This is a loan and not a grant, so it must be paid back in two to three years, but because of COVID-19, a six-month grace period has been added.