Last March, the Virginia Community Economic Network announced that it had launched a pilot project to expand capital access for small businesses in collaboration with Accion US and over a dozen local partners. During the year-long test period, the “LoanSpot” partnership produced promising results with increases in both the average size of loans made and quality of applications received by Accion US. It also allowed local partners to expand their service offerings by having a direct source of referrals for clients needing financing options.
As part of the transition of VCEN’s programming to Virginia Cooperative Extension, the strategic decision was made to merge the LoanSpot initiative into SourceLink Virginia. The content that was previously on the LoanSpot.org website has been fully replicated on SourceLink Virginia as its new "Loan Center" and can be found at: http://www.sourcelinkvirginia.org/loancenter
Now, entrepreneurs can access information on available microloans as well as the information contained in the larger online repository for resources and information targeting small businesses. Economic development organizations now have one site to which they can refer their clients. As new resources are discovered and new partners added, the SourceLink Virginia Loan Center will continue to expand over time.