By Alex Polacco
St. Cloud State University has developed a Microlending Program to encourage business and economic growth in the local community. The program currently supports new and existing entrepreneurs in St. Cloud, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, Waite Park, and St. Augusta; but will expand its customer base to include a wider area in the future. Serving a segment of the entrepreneurial market that does not qualify for conventional loans, the program provides loans that range from $500 to a maximum of $25,000. The program also provides technical assistance, education, and other resources to applicants. Aspirants can take advantage of the knowledge support provided by: SCORE, a group of retired executives who serve as business consultants; Legal Core, free 30 minutes of legal advice; and SCSU’s centers for Economic Education and Continuing Education.