DeKalb County commissioners recently hired a different company to give federally funded loans to small businesses.
The DeKalb Commission voted unanimously May 9 to contract with Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), a nonprofit organization founded in Cleveland, Ga.
DeKalb officials stopped doing business with the county’s previous small business loan company, DeKalb Enterprise Business Corporation (DEBCO), in part because the company didn’t collect at least $762,000 it had loaned since 2000. The company has changed its name to Developing Entrepreneurs, Businesses and Communities.
ACE will distribute small business loans worth up to $35,000 each, with interest rates below 5 percent, to be repaid in seven to 10 years.
ACE’s contract is worth $450,000, funded entirely by the the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The budget for small business loans is $360,000; the remaining $90,000 pays for ACE salaries, loan closing services and other administration costs. The contract carries no cost to DeKalb.
DEBCO wrote off 32 percent of the 76 loans it made from 2000 to 2014, according to the county.
ACE has a 2.5 percent default rate, said Maria Peck, director of the company’s Women’s Business Center, at an April 25 DeKalb committee meeting.
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