Last summer, Elizabeth came to ACCION USA for her second loan, which provided her with $6,000 to refurbish part of her beauty salon in Long Island City. She used the money to install a new beauty station and buy another hairdryer chair.
When borrowers pay down 40% of their loans with ACCION USA, they are eligible to refinance for more funds. In April, when Elizabeth had paid down about 60% of her loan, she came to us to refinance in order to make further improvements to her salon.
With her loan, Elizabeth will refurbish the tile flooring in her salon and to buy additional dryers. Elizabeth will be able to continue strengthening her credit and making her salon more welcoming and professional-looking to customers. Ultimately, she hopes this renovation of her business space leads to a more profitable business to support her and her husband and children.
About U.S. Microfinance and ACCION USA:
Have you ever thought about how the cute new café on your corner or the salon you frequent every month got the financial resources to start their business? Chances are, they drummed up support from their friends and family, dipped into their personal savings, used a high-interest credit card, or all of the above. An estimated ten million small businesses in the U.S. face difficulty obtaining loans from traditional banks, even prior to the current “credit crisis”. Microfinance institutions, like ACCION USA, support these “unbanked” small businesses by giving them access to fairly-priced capital and business education.
Small businesses also help stabilize low- to moderate-income neighborhoods and rebuild our economy through income growth and job creation. Self-employment provides workers with a way to increase their incomes, support their families, and strengthen their communities. As unemployment rises in the U.S., more and more people are turning to self-employment and start-up enterprises as a way to take control of their economic futures and provide employment opportunities in their communities. The need for support of small businesses in the U.S. is great, and it is one that ACCION USA has been striving to meet since 1991.