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Press release shared by Haywood Community College, Jan. 17:

The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College has formed a partnership with the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center to make loans of up to $25,000 available for the start up or expansion of rural businesses.

The center’s N.C. Microenterprise Loan Program encourages self-employment and small business development by combining loans with business planning and technical assistance. It often works with individuals who have sound business ideas but may not qualify for traditional bank loans.

Loans are available for $500 to $25,000, with terms of one to five years, depending on the loan amount and use of funds. Interest is charged at prime plus 4 percent. Lower rates are available for loans supporting the use of clean energy sources, energy conservation and waste reduction.

HCC’s Small Business Center will assist prospective borrowers in completing loan applications and provide other technical assistance. The HCC Small Business Center serves Haywood County and can be contacted by calling 828 627 4512. It is located on campus within the library.

The HCC Small Business Center provides free, confidential counseling (by appointment), free business seminars, and houses a large in-house and on-line Small Business Resource Library. See for details on these resources and upcoming seminars.

The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop sound economic strategies that improve the quality of life in rural North Carolina, with a special focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes and communities with limited resources. It operates a multifaceted program that includes research into rural issues; testing promising rural development strategies; advocating for policy and program innovations; and building the productive capacity of rural leaders, entrepreneurs and community organizations.

It has operated the Microenterprise Loan Program since 1989, awarding more than 1,400 loans totaling nearly $8 million.

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Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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