Microenterprise Financial Assistance Program

The Microenterprise Financial Assistance Program is funded by State grant funds awarded to the County of Lassen by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.

The Microenterprise Financial Assistance Program is designed to provide affordable non-conventional financing to eligible persons or businesses to start-up or expand. The Program is useful for small start-up businesses as the underwriting standards and loan terms are flexible and can be tailored to the needs of the business. 

Any commercial business activity that meets the Program objectives is eligible for assistance. Eligible businesses under this Program must be a microenterprise, which is described as a commercial enterprise having five or fewer employees, including the owner(s). The owner of the business must have an annual income at or below 80% of the County’s area median income, adjusted for household size, as published by HCD each year. CLICK HERE for income limits.

The Program will assist businesses and projects including start-up, expansion, or relocation within the unincorporated areas of Lassen County. Businesses located in the incorporated City of Susanville are eligible for funding if the City does not have a similar Program available.

The Program can be used to finance the following:

  • Operating Capital;
  • Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (FF&E);
  • Rehabilitation of Leased Space or Owned Buildings;
  • Purchase of Manufacturing Equipment;
  • Refinancing of Existing Debt (when done in conjunction with financing other eligible costs); and
  • Purchase of Real Property.

All lending decisions will be made by the Lassen County Loan Committee. Loan terms will generally be more favorable than the private market and will be determined based on the availability of capital and project viability.

Program loans will not exceed $35,000. If a loan applicant requests more than $35,000 then the loan must be underwritten in accordance with the County’s Business Assistance Program Guidelines, which are in effect at such time, due to the additional risks involved. There is no minimum loan amount but the amount requested must be reasonable to support the business proposal presented by the applicant.


Technical Assistance

Microenterprise grants can be made to owners of microenterprise businesses or persons developing a microenterprise for technical assistance. Technical assistance may be a requirement prior to loan funds being disbursed. This assistance is necessary for local small businesses in order to move successfully through business development and expansion. Technical assistance helps prepare individuals who are interested in self-employment for the challenge of successfully owning their own business by:

  • Exploring concepts and commitments of self-employment;
  • Providing materials and coaching by covering important tools needed to run a small business;
  • Offering one-on-one mentoring to help create a plan for starting and growing business; and,
  • Help exploring financial options including the Microenterprise Financial Assistance Program.

Alliance for Workforce Development (AFWD) supplies these services and is administered in accordance with the County ’s Microenterprise Technical Assistance Program Guidelines. For more information about the Microenterprise Technical Assistance Program please CLICK HERE.


Fair Lending

All outreach efforts will be done in accordance with State and Federal fair lending regulations to assure nondiscriminatory treatment, outreach and access to the Program. No person shall, on the grounds of age, ancestry, color, creed, physical or mental disability or handicap, marital or familial status, medical condition, national origin, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, be excluded, denied benefits or subjected to discrimination under the Program. The Department will ensure that all persons, including those qualified individuals with handicaps have access to the Program


How Do I Apply?

Call or visit the Planning and Building Services Department at 707 Nevada Street, Suite 1 in Susanville. Regular office hours are from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

Please Contact:
Jenna Aguilera
Phone (530) 251-2683
Fax (530) 257-6599
Email: bizinfo@co.lassen.ca.us

Download:

Microenterprise Financial Assistance Guidelines