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The City of Cocoa announced that it is now accepting applications for the UpStart Cocoa Business Development program. The program includes forgiven loans of up to $10,000 for small businesses in the city that meet certain requirements.
Cocoa launched the program last year with the goal of promoting minority- and women-owned small businesses in the city. Last year, his first small business, Soul Food Restaurant, met all the requirements and through the program he received a loan of $7,500 and is now doing well. Due to the strong performance of Chef’s Kitchen, the city expanded the program this year to allow more businesses. Previously only one local company, he now has five local companies in the program. Two of your businesses must be located within the Diamond Square district of Cocoa. This includes the area bounded by Pineda Street to the west, School Street to the north, Florida East Coast Railroad to the east, and Rosa L. Jones Drive to the south.
The loan application window opened on February 1st and will remain open through March 15th at choosecocoa.org/223/upstart. A review panel consisting of members of the City of Cocoa’s financial staff, officers of the Diamond Square community redevelopment area, weVenture representatives, and appointed community banking representatives will select loan recipients.
City Councilman LaVander Hearn added that the city needs to aggressively foster growth and new businesses from the ground up, and that doing so benefits everyone. “One of the things the council has considered, he said, is that traveling around some of Cocoa’s neighborhoods can help find the best rental space for small businesses,” he said. “Our proposal is that it will help degraded areas and revitalize those areas, which will boost Cocoa as a whole. and stepping into small entrepreneurs who often have more hurdles to clear. added Hahn. The success of his Chef’s Kitchen this past year has spurred expansion of the program and greater benefits to the community, he said. “It’s all great for the economy, residents and business owners,” Hahn added.
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Loans will be provided only after the entrepreneur completes the 24-week IGNITE 360 Business Mentoring Program administered by the weVENTURE Women’s Business Center at Florida Tech Bisque College of Business.
That money is treated as a deferred loan with no interest for three years. After that, the loan will be forgiven him after three years, as long as the business complies with the terms of the program.
UpStart Forgiveable Loan Eligibility Requirements:
- Businesses owned by minorities and women. I mean a business that is at least 51% owned by a member of a minority group.
- New businesses less than two years old, or businesses relocating to the City of Cocoa with fewer than 10 employees.
- Applicants participate in a 24-week business education course through weVENTURE
- Restaurants may be eligible for funding as long as the business derives at least 51% of its gross income from the sale of food and/or non-alcoholic beverages for consumption on its premises.
- Non-eligible businesses include social service providers, non-profit organizations, gun stores, agricultural services, liquor stores, medical marijuana and CBD shops, drug paraphernalia shops, pawn shops, bail services, tattoo/body piercing parlors, Includes check cashing facilities. , adult entertainment venues, thrift stores, nightclubs and bars.
- The company must not have received financial assistance from the City of Cocoa within three years of the current filing.
- For start-ups, minority entrepreneurs must invest at least 10% of their start-up costs from sources unrelated to the UpStart cocoa program.
Tyler Vazquez is North Brevard Watchdog Reporter for FLORIDA TODAY.contact Vasquez 321-917-7491 or email@example.com. twitter: @tyler_vazquez