The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation offers strategic start up and/or growth business loans to qualified Upper Manhattan businesses through its Business Resource and Investment Service Center, Inc. (BRISC). BRISC makes loans between $50,000 and $250,000 aimed at small business formation and/or expansion to create economic vitality for Upper Manhattan. These loans may be senior or subordinated financing, depending on the other sources of capital for the project, and are set at an affordable rate, with flexible terms based on the cash flows, job generation, and level of collateral for the project.
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We offer loans to qualified existing and start-up businesses in Upper Manhattan. Unlike traditional bank lenders, we generally do not focus solely on credit scores or require two years of operating results. Unlike SBA lenders, we do not require our loans to be 100% collateralized by your assets. Instead, we seek projects that generally meet the following criteria:
Loan size: $50,000 to $250,000
Pricing: Fixed rate and competitive with market rates
Loan term: 5 years, typically
Uses: Start-up financing, business expansion, machinery and equipment, leasehold improvements, refinancing, acquisitions, and working capital
The process begins informally with a discussion with a BRISC lending officer. After the project is deemed appropriate, an application and any pertinent project-related information that may be requested are submitted to begin the underwriting process. The underwriting process ends with final loan approval by the BRISC Loan Committee. The entire process typically requires two to six months to complete.
The review and approval process is summarized below:
Prospective applicants are encouraged to meet with a BRISC lending officer before applying to informally explore the appropriateness of potential funding under the Empowerment Zone initiative. Please call (212) 410-0030 to discuss your interest in potential funding.