Credit loans

New $5 million loan program will help small businesses in Jackson

JACKSON, MI – Jackson’s Lean Rocket Lab and American 1 Credit Union are joining a $5 million loan program to help small businesses.

It all started with a conversation between Lean Rocket Lab co-founders Ken Seneff and Brandon Marken and American 1 Credit Union President and CEO Martha Fuerstenau about how to help business owners in Jackson. The result — their partnership in a five-year fund called Lean Rocket LOCAL — will help companies access capital, officials said.

“Partnering with LRL allows us to take a step forward in small business lending while maintaining our mission to create financial well-being in the communities we serve,” Fuerstenau said. “We look forward to working with small businesses in this community. »

Lean Rocket Lab launched LOCAL with the goal of providing the same services and support it offers in its emerging tech startup programs to businesses in the Jackson neighborhood, officials said.

LOCAL, powered by American 1 Credit Union, is a six-week boot camp program followed by several months of mentorship and pitch preparation for 10 selected companies. Through an application process, each chosen company can unlock milestone-based grants and consider additional funding through the new US Loan Fund 1, officials said.

When American 1 and LRL began collaborating on Lean Rocket LOCAL, the goal was to launch a lending resource as part of the overall program, specifically for neighborhood start-up businesses that are struggling to get bank loans, officials said.

LOCAL applications are open until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 8 and are available on the LRL website. Applicants will then be reviewed and required to present to the LOCAL Advisory Board, which will select the top 10 companies for the 2022 LOCAL Fellows program, officials said.

“Having been part of a similar program in Dallas, I am thrilled to see this program supporting and developing small business owners who often cannot afford to bring their dream business to life,” said Christie. Myers, director of Lean Rocket LOCAL. .

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