The Sunrise AG Microloan fund (SAM) is a revolving loan program created by the Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC) through the generosity of an anonymous donor. SAM targets Washington County-based commercial small farms and food producers seeking capital, as well as our county’s farmers’ markets, buying clubs, retail businesses, and food pantries. The goal of this fund is to increase economic activity and capital access for local food producers. These microloans help our local foods businesses grow and thrive. They protect and create jobs, as well as stabilization our local food sources.
This microloan fund is another tool available to the small farms and food producers of Washington County.
Loans: Loan amounts range from $500 to $20,000. The microloans target clients seeking capital that may not typically be bankable through traditional lending institutions, or as part of a larger loan package, in a gap financing role. SAM may act as the primary lender and provide up to 80% of the request with the client providing the remaining 20% from other sources. While open to all, we target first-time borrowers and clients with a limited, or lack of a credit history or, in certain situations, problematic credit histories that prevent loans from commercial banks. These loans enable access to resources and opportunities that may not be otherwise be available through traditional lending institutions.
Eligible Uses & Requirements: Eligible uses of loan funds may include equipment, inventory, material, acquisition/improvements; creation and/or expansion of value added-products/services; training and education, marketing assistance; energy efficiency improvements; and assistance with the formation of start-up capital.
Basic Loan Fund Requirements: Washington County residency; ownership in a farm and/or agriculture or food-related business; creation or retention of job(s). Loans will not be made for debt consolidation, general operating expenses, or existing debt.
Loan Terms and Conditions: Interest rates range from the current prime rate to 1% above prime based on factors such as risk, collateral, character, and creditworthiness. Loan origination fees range from 2%-3% of the total loan request.
Additional Business Support Resources: Loan applicants have access to professional, confidential and most often, free business resources, including technical assistance, business counseling services, and much more through SCEC’s robust resource providers’ network in Washington County. Assistance with business plans, loan applications, and marketing are also available from the many resource providers, many are free and all are confidential. These resources can assist farmers and food producers in business training and education, leading to increased profitability, better business decisions and strategies for success.