Microlender slashes processing time, offers millions for Austin small biz loans
LiftFund Inc., a San Antonio-based nonprofit microlender for small businesses, is launching a $4.6 million loan program funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) that's open for businesses in Austin to apply for today.
Besides Austin, the new loan program, called LiftUP, is targeting businesses in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, New Orleans and Atlanta.
The loan program launch also marks the release of a pilot program that LiftFund has been tweaking for several years aimed at reducing loan processing time from five weeks to roughly four days. The move is an effort to compete with online lenders, which are typically for-profit entities that charge much higher interest rates but entice business owners with more immediate access to cash.
"What took us two weeks is now taking one week, and in some cases we can turn around a loan in a couple of days," LiftFund CEO Janie Barrera said in a recent interview.
The JPMorgan Chase Institute, an arm of the bank, conducted a survey of business owners in the U.S. and found that many small businesses only have enough cash on hand to survive one month without incoming customer revenue...continued...