Helping small businesses in Kalamazoo.


Fund your business with the Capital Consortium

The Kalamazoo Capital Consortium is a group of nonprofit and for profit commercial lenders who work together with the Greater Kalamazoo Business Resource Group to improve access to capital for small businesses throughout the city.

If you are a business owner in Kalamazoo County, and would like to apply for a loan from one of the Consortium members, please complete the Financing Request Form.

This form helps Capital Consortium members learn more about your business and your capital needs. Your information will be shared with the Consortium members and if your project and capital needs match available resources, members of the consortium will contact you directly within ten (10) business days.

Please note this form is not a loan or grant application and there is no guarantee of approval from any of the members. If one of the Consortium members is interested in working with your business, they will contact you for more information.


Debi Howe, Director
3501 Lake St
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
(269) 207-0747
Send email

Kiva Crowdsourced Borrowing Opportunities

At Kiva, we believe that a vibrant small business sector can create jobs and economic vitality in otherwise-marginalized communities, and help to combat this creeping inequality.

The Peoples Food Coop (PFC), Edison Neighborhood Association, Kalamazoo Eastside Neighborhood Association, and SCORE Kalamazoo/SW Michigan have partnered with LISC and KIVA to provide access to crowdsourced borrowing opportunities for qualifying businesses in the Kalamazoo community. Each has its own criteria and a primary focus area they consider before giving their endorsement.

Their primary focus areas include:

  • SCORE is interested in endorsing businesses that support our goals for creating a sustainable businesses and job creation.
  • People’s Food Coop exists to create access for all to food that is healthy for people, land and the economy. To that end, we work to create opportunities for local food businesses to thrive in the marketplace and have positive social impact.
  • Edison Neighborhood Association is interested in supporting projected that have an impact on creating a more vibrant and active neighborhood.
  • Kalamazoo Eastside Neighborhood Association is interested in supporting projected that have an impact on creating a more vibrant and active neighborhood.

Any of the above endorsements, a sort of social underwriting, allows for a LISC 1-to-1 match on loans, reducing the challenge of becoming fully funded.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kiva US is offering small business applicants:

  • Expanded loan sizes, now up to $15,000
  • Grace Periods between 1-6 months
  • Terms: zero interest, 24 months to repay on $5k loans, 36 months to repay on $15k

Kiva has reduced the number of contributors required during the private fundraising period, which will help get projects onto the full Kiva platform for public crowdsourcing more quickly.

Here is a general outline of the program based on the status of the applicant business.


  • No online presence
  • Pre-revenue business
  • Limited local description
  • Private Fundraising—5 lenders
  • Term—12-18 months


  • Basic online presence
  • Operating less than 1 year
  • Compelling story and loan description
  • Private Fundraising—5-10 lenders
  • Term—24 months


  • Strong online presence
  • Strong references
  • More established business
  • Private Fundraising—5-15 lenders
  • Term—36 months


  • Strong online presence
  • Strong references
  • More established business
  • Private Fundraising—5-15 lenders
  • Term—36 months

A borrower’s starting loan range will be determined by:

  • Debt-to-income ratio – the amount of monthly income that goes towards paying off monthly debt
  • Proof of separate bank accounts for business and personal finances
  • Government-issued business proof (local, state, or federal)
  • Private Fundraising—5-30 lenders
  • Term—36 months

Click the Apply to KIVA button, answer all questions, and your form will go to the endorsing organizations for consideration. Once staff members have reviewed, they will get back to you with any questions, and next steps.


Debi Howe, Director
3501 Lake St
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
(269) 207-0747
Send email

Other Programs

Kalamazoo Small Business Loan Fund

Kalamazoo Small Business Loan Funds Available

Our mission is to drive impact by leading shared efforts that engage diverse people, ideas and resources. The Kalamazoo Small Business Loan Fund, established in partnership with the City of Kalamazoo and supported by the Foundation for Excellence, is intended to be a bridge loan to provide local businesses time and opportunity to take advantage of the current COVID-19 SBA Loans, as well as state and federal loan assistance programs.

Huntington Bank’s Lift-Local Business Lending Program

Huntington has announced a new $25 million, small-business lending program focused on serving minority, women and veteran-owned businesses. Under the new program, businesses can secure SBA-guaranteed loans for as little as $1,000 and up to $150,000.


Natalie Saucedo, Director
Individual Giving and Innovation
(269) 250-9808

Congratulations to Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry for receiving his first loan through Northern Initiatives. With help from his SCORE mentor, Cheri Bales, Gregory did a fantastic job on developing his business plan and showing real entrepreneurial spirit. We wish you much success, and look forward to your upward movement. You are a wonderful role model.

—Gregory Shelton of Grand Unique Laundry

I appreciate your ears for listening, your eyes that see my vision and your heart that makes you who you are.  I thank you for your time. You are making a difference.

—Shawntel Lindsey, Director, The Artbor Community Connections Center

The WMed Innovation Center is a perfect environment for innovation to grow and become a successful commercial enterprise.


WMU Business Connection logo

Whether you are seeking a research partner or want to enlist the help of student groups in developing business plans, or just looking for ways to engage with WMU, the Business Connection office can find the resource to help move your business forward.


A loan (from Local Initiatives Support Corporation) helped expand our cafe to triple our seating, add a kids space, increase much needed staff work areas, and make other improvements to the space.


MEL logo

The Michigan eLibrary (MeL) is the State of Michigan’s digital library. It has excellent resources available to Michigan residents at no cost.


Western Michigan University’s Starting Gate helped me take an idea and transform it into a much more attainable reality. Whether providing talks with investors and business owners or accountability, the ultimate goal is helping your business succeed.

—Peter Shutt

Kalamazoo County Land Bank logo

The Kalamazoo Land Bank did robust community engagement around the vision and gave us something to work with that was solidly desired by people in the neighborhood. Having a vision meant we had to protect it. That’s something I thank the Land Bank for. It was difficult. It didn’t make anything faster or easier, but we got a better project in the end as a result of it.

—Matt Hollander

Buy Local logo

Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo is a hard working grassroots group focused on the greater Kalamazoo community and its small businesses. Their events and networking opportunities are the best!

—Cheri Bales

SBDC logo

Michigan SBDC is a great company providing top notch service to local businesses all over Michigan. The consultants are professional and the student workers contribute with excellent work!

—Martin Herman Sorensen