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Galax offers small business loans

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New or expanding businesses can apply for low-interest Jump! loans

Staff Report

Have you been dreaming of starting your own business?

Do you have a business in Galax you want to grow or expand?

The City of Galax and the Galax Industrial Development Authority are eager to assist Galax businesses in starting or growing with money to lend below the prime interest rate. Loans are now available for $500 to $5,000.

Jump! Galax is an economic development strategy to encourage entrepreneurs. “Our greatest assets are our small businesses. They are the folks who put roots in our city and work hard day to day. We want to help them create their future here and we want to help grow their business,” said Galax IDA Chairman Roger Neal.

Galax will give priority in loans to downtown businesses and businesses creating or expanding with new jobs; and Galax home businesses do qualify for loans if zoned and licensed. The business must be located in Galax. Loan money can be used for rent, utilities and inventory.

Loan applications are simple and quick, but applicants will need to have a business plan, which will help predict revenues and costs over three years so that entrepreneurs will have a solid foundation to start their business and obtain financing. The plans are a free service of the Blue Ridge Crossroads Small Business Development Center (SBDC), but there may be a small charge for copying.

Right now, a Galax business loan is at 2 percent interest – for example, a $5,000 loan can be repaid over five years at monthly payments of $87.64. The loan can be paid off early without any fees or prepayment penalties.

What if you have a great business idea, but don’t know where to start? Another free service of the SBDC is one-on-one counseling and education in business basics to new and existing small business owners. The center will help you get an email account and a business web page, which are required to qualify for a Jump! loan.

Contact Mandy Archer of the Blue Ridge Crossroads Small Business Development Center about creating a business plan at (276) 236-0391; or Jessica Milby, Galax assistant director of tourism and community development, at (276) 601-1632. The SBDC is located at The Crossroads Institute at 1117 E. Stuart Drive in Galax; the Galax Tourism Office is located downtown at 110 E. Grayson St.