The Opportunity Fund is growing South Bend Small Businesses through back office support and access to capital.
The City of South Bend Opportunity Fund is intended to help business owners access capital and support to grow their businesses. The program is designed to bridge the gap between the start-up business support provided through the Small Business Assistance Suite and the funds available through the Revolving Loan Funds, which start at $50,000.
Opportunity Fund Process
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is this a grant or a loan?
The Opportunity Fund provides a loan that business owners will have to pay back monthly once their business has started making money. Business owners must sign a loan agreement and show how they will make money before receiving the loan. If the business owner completes their plan, they may be able to have their loan forgiven.
How long does it take to get the money I need for my business?
It takes at least 60 days from when you complete the online questionnaire to receive funding for your business. The funding will follow your grant action plan and budget, and will be monitored to make sure your business is successful.
Do I have to be a minority resident to participate in this program?
The Opportunity Fund was created to help minority residents, especially Black residents, get access to capital for their businesses. However, all City of South Bend programming is available to all residents regardless of their race, gender, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation.
How much funding is available?
The Opportunity Fund has $1.5 million dollars available. Service providers supporting business structuring, financial projections, and coaching activities will receive a portion of the fund. Businesses can request up to $30k in funding, with most requests expected to be around $15k. The program has funding for approximately 80 businesses to receive capital.
Can I apply if I haven’t started my business yet?
Yes, you can apply for funding even if you haven’t started your business yet. Experience and industry experience will be considered, but not required. This provision also provides access to funding for business owners who need to establish a layer of division between their personal and business finances by establishing an LLC during their participation in the program.
Can I apply if I am already operating my business?
Yes, businesses currently in operation that have not reached $350,000 in annual revenue can apply for funding. Businesses that have earned more than $350,000 will not qualify for the Opportunity Fund but can still access the Small Business Assistance Suite services and the revolving loan fund.