As part of our new four-year partnership with FarmFolk CityFolk, Salt Spring Coffee will be providing financial support for an innovative micro loan program aimed at local food producers. As a small BC business that has had the good fortune to grow, we know firsthand the value of a helping hand.
What are micro loans?
Micro loans are small, short-term loans—often with low or no interest—that are offered to entrepreneurs, start-ups or small businesses. It’s often unprofitable for large banks to deal with loans of this size and difficult for small businesses to meet the typical requirements for a standard loan. Micro loan programs provide an alternative way to get funding into the hands of those who need it.
How does FarmFolk CityFolk’s micro loan program work?
FarmFolk CityFolk, in collaboration with the Island Chefs Collaborative and Vancity, offers zero-interest micro loans to local food producers. The loans range in size from $1,000 to $20,000 and can last up to 36 months. Interest paid during the term of the loan (prime + 3%) is rebated once the loan has been successfully repaid.
Farmers, fishers, ranchers, harvesters and processors can use these micro loans to invest in the equipment and materials they need to increase their supply of food in Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island the Gulf Islands.
Why are micro loans near and dear to Salt Spring Coffee?
When our co-founders Mickey McLeod and Robbyn Scott started roasting green beans in a converted popcorn maker at home on Salt Spring Island, they never imagined what was to come. Twenty years later, Salt Spring Coffee roasts 1,600 kilograms of coffee per day at a commercial roastery in Richmond, and Mickey and Robbyn’s coffee is available throughout most of Canada.
It’s organizations like FarmFolk CityFolk, which are willing to take a chance on small local businesses, that make this kind of sustainable growth possible. Now that Salt Spring Coffee is in a position to give back, FarmFolk CityFolk’s micro loan program is the perfect way for us to support fledgling food producers that strengthen our communities and contribute to a healthy environment and economy. Pay it forward, we say!