Micro lender helps small businesses in Toledo - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Micro lender helps small businesses in Toledo

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A non-profit micro lender has set up shop in the Glass City to help people fulfill the dream of being their own boss, and now that group has sealed its first local deal.

Founded in Columbus in 2004, the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) opened its Toledo office in April. Now, the local office manager says there are roughly 20 micro loan deals in the works, and ECDI has completed its first local transaction.

It's a $16,000 loan to Andre Ballard. His architectural business, Ballard Architectural Studio, has been inactive since 2008. Now, he's buying new software and marketing tools aimed at giving his business a second chance.

"It's good to return to Toledo, I grew up here," Ballard said. "It's been a real blessing to have ECDI help me re-launch at home."

Anneliese Grytafey with ECDI Toledo says they're trying to help those trying to start or expand a small business to access capital.

"ECDI is able to fill a niche in the marketplace by providing access to capital as well as business coaching for entrepreneurs that wouldn't have any place to turn," she said.

ECDI is making available loans from $500 to $150,000.

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