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Beyond the Bank: Alternative Funding Options for Small Business Start-Up and Growth

Panelists will describe grant and loan programs available to businesses in the Chippewa Valley and beyond. Audience members will have the opportunity to have their questions answered.

Beyond the Bank: Alternative Funding Options for Small Business Start-Up and Growth
Beyond the Bank: Alternative Funding Options for Small Business Start-Up and Growth


Event is Pre-Recorded

YouTube link sent upon registration

About the Event

Originally Recorded: Wednesday, November 16, 2022 | 12 p.m.

About This Event

The following loan and grant programs will be discussed:

  • Regional Business Fund, Inc. - offers low interest loans to businesses in west central Wisconsin who may not qualify for traditional financing.
  • Main Street Bounceback Grant Program - offers $10K grants to eligible businesses moving into commercial space throughout Wisconsin.
  • City of Eau Claire loan programs - offers low interest loans to businesses located in the City of Eau Claire.
  • Kiva US microloans - offers 0% business loans - learn about how and when WEDC's matching funds can complement a Kiva microloan funds to assist in reaching fundraising goals.
  • Red Letter Grant - through a competitive application process, Red Letter Grant awards $2K grants to women entrepreneurs who want start a new business.

Main Takeaways

  • Learn about non-bank options for funding your startup
  • Expand your knowledge about loans and grants
  • Ask questions of loan & grant administrators

Who Should Attend?

  • Business Owners
  • Lenders
  • Economic Development Staff

About Our Panelists

Tobi LeMahieu is the Fund Manager for the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, working primarily with the nonprofit Regional Business Fund, Inc. She has been in this position since 2016. Prior to becoming the Fund Manager, she was an Associate Planner at WCWRPC focusing on community and economic development projects. Ms. LeMahieu has a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.

Jake Wiensch is the Business + Communications Specialist at the City of Eau Claire. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics with a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He has previous economic/community development experience from working at Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin and the Red River Regional Council in Northeastern, North Dakota. Jake loves the outdoors and adventure, he enjoys traveling, hiking, and biking.

Errin Welty is the Senior Director of Downtown Development at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, working primarily with Main Street and Connect Communities which comprise more than 100 passionate places around the state. She loves working with businesses, property owners and community groups around the state to make local projects a reality. Errin has an undergraduate degree in community development from St. Cloud State and Masters in Planning and Real Estate from the University of Colorado in Denver. Previous experience includes work in downtown organizations in St. Cloud, Wheat Ridge and Denver, as well as commercial real estate, market analysis and economic development consulting work.

Rebecca Cooke is the founder and executive director of the Red Letter Grant - a nonprofit that supports and empowers women entrepreneurs throughout 10 counties in western Wisconsin by awarding start-up capital.

This event is a part of Startup Chippewa Valley Week Presented By Royal Credit Union. For more information and other events, please visit our website!

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