Brooklyn Chamber launches small-biz loan program

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Randy Peers.
Photo by Derrick Watterson

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce launched a new financing program this week, providing loans to small businesses struggling to gain credit with larger banks, according to the business boaster’s chief.

“This grant will provide needed funding to entrepreneurs and small business owners, especially MWBE’s in underserved neighborhoods that may have had trouble in the past accessing loans to advance and grow their operations,” said Brooklyn Chamber President Randy Peers.

The program focus on helping woman and minority-owned enterprises to hire additional employees, rent retail space, or expand their existing storefronts through the distribution of loans averaging $1,200 each, and ranging in size from $500-$25,000.

REDU NYC founder Amber Lasciak talks to guests about the REDU NYC workspace.Photo by Derrick Watterson

A substantial upfront loan can make a world of difference for a small business, and frees entrepreneurs from the hassle of working through large banks, according to Amber Lasciak, founder of REDU NYC, a furniture manufacturer who received a micro loan from the chamber. 

“When you’re starting a business and you’re self-funded, you need all the help you can get,” Lasciak said.

The lack of funding is often what prevents new businesses from getting off the ground, and many business owners list it as their number one challenge according to Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services. 

“I’ve heard from many small business owners, and they constantly said accessing capital is one of their major struggles,” Bishop said. 

The program is the result of a $125,000 grant from the federal government, through the Department of the Treasury.