A new service is being offered in the area to persons wishing to start or expand a small business.
This service, the Mid-Columbia Micro-loan Referral Program (MCMLRP), guides persons through the steps required to write a workable business plan, and if needed, to secure a small business loan.
The service is free to all persons living in the Mid-Columbia area.
A free informational session will be held at the White Salmon Community Library at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 31.
In addition to helping prospects gain the know-how to begin or expand a small business, MCMLRP can aid in securing small businesses loans when local banks are unable to provide a loan.
MCMLRP refers entrepreneurs to its funding partners, Mercy Corps NW (MCNW), based in Portland, and locally-based Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD), and helps them apply for a micro-loan.
The Small Business Development Center at Gorge Community College and local representatives of SCORE (Counselors to America's Small Business) may also provide resources.
The idea of starting a micro-loan program in the area originated with local resident Norm Luther, a member of the White Salmon United Methodist Church.
Luther has gathered a coalition of talented and community-minded professionals from the business, financial and non-profit communities, including WorkSource, Washington Gorge Action Programs (WGAP), and Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce, who lend their time and talent to coaching and counseling those seeking help in organizing and financing small business ventures.
Those interested in learning more about these free services should contact Luther at 493-1164 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce at 493-3630 (email@example.com).