The City of San Antonio, in collaboration with LiftFund, has declared the relaunch and expansion of its renowned Zero Percent Interest Loan Program, aimed at fortifying the city’s small business sector. The initiative, backed by an increased investment of $2 million for two years, seeks to fuel small business growth by providing interest-free loans up to $100,000, underlining the city's dedication to fostering a flourishing entrepreneurial environment.
To amplify the program, the city utilized funds from the Fiscal Year 2024 general fund and ARPA, in addition to a contribution from LiftFund and Wells Fargo. This augmented funding represents a significant increase, with double the amount allocated in the last fiscal year and quadruple the allocations from previous years.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg expressed the city’s commitment to supporting small businesses, stating, "The City’s increased investment for the program reduces a barrier for businesses to access capital at a pivotal time for their growth and success. Investing in our small businesses embodies our commitment to fostering innovation, generating employment, and bolstering the city's economic well-being."
The program is designed to be versatile, offering interest-free loans ranging from $500 to $100,000 to San Antonio’s small businesses, including those planning to establish roots in the city. The funds can be utilized for various business needs such as expansion, startup costs, staffing, and daily operations. Eligibility criteria target businesses that have not benefited from the program in the past two years and those unable to secure conventional financing.
Laurie Vignaud, President and CEO of LiftFund, emphasized the significance of the partnership, stating, "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."
Recognizing the ongoing challenge of capital access for small businesses, this program aims to alleviate financial burdens and catalyze sustainable growth. Since 2016, the City of San Antonio's Zero Percent Interest Loan Program has distributed over $7 million in interest-free capital, supporting local businesses and contributing to the creation and retention of nearly 1,500 jobs. This initiative continues to empower entrepreneurial spirit, drive economic development, and enhance the vitality of San Antonio's business landscape.
Small business owners interested in the program are encouraged to learn more about the eligibility criteria and application process by visiting LiftFund.com/COSAZeroLoan