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Diversify Douglas County (DDC) Loan Program

The EDC of Lawrence & Douglas County / Lawrence Chamber is proud to introduce Diversify Douglas County – A Minority Business Loan Program (DDC) to assist minority for-profit businesses and non-profit entities looking to obtain funding for business projects. This no-match program was created to increase more equitable access to funding for historically/systemically marginalized entrepreneurs. For the
purposes of this loan program, “minority-owned” is defined as any organization that is at least 51% owned by a non-white person, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latino, and People of Color.

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DDC Application (docx)


Who qualifies for this loan?

Entrepreneurs starting minority-owned businesses. For the purposes of this program, “minority-owned” is defined as a for-profit or non-profit organization that is at least 51% owned by Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latino person(s), or other Persons of Color.

Is there an application deadline?

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, without deadlines, following the Loan Application Process. The Financial Review Board meets monthly and reviews applications accordingly.

What are the terms of the loan?

Minority-owned businesses can request a loan of up to $15,000 with a simple 4% interest rate for 48 months.

What required items must be submitted for this loan?

  1. Application for DDC Loan
  2. Business Plan
  3. Resumé (or personal statement in business plan that shows owner preparedness)
  4. Cash flow projections/Pro forma (12 months)
  5. Signed marketing release
  6. A personal guaranty is required from business partners with 20% or more ownership in
    the business

Who is this loan program designed to serve?

The Diversify Douglas County (DDC) loan program was created to support minority-owned businesses and organizations that may have a more challenging financial profile – which could include lower credit scores, lower profit margins, collections activity, etc. – that prevents them from accessing funds through traditional commercial lenders.

Looking at applicants through a broader lens and across a broader range of criteria, the DDC is designed to provide equitable access to capital to support diversity in business ownership and economic opportunity for underestimated communities in Douglas County.

How can the funding be used?

Businesses or organizations applying for funds may use these resources for equipment, inventory, repairs, building purchase, infrastructure, refinancing existing business debt, working capital, or other uses proposed and approved by the application and business plan.

What are inappropriate uses of funds?

Inappropriate uses of funds include: development or passive investment purposes, such as acquiring real estate to lease to others, or for purchasing securities; a business that occupies and uses less than 50% of total rentable square footage of the real estate the business owns; lobbying activities; repayment of delinquent federal or state income taxes. Repayment of taxes held in trust or escrow (e.g. payroll or sales taxes); financing non-business purposes and/or financing costs other than what is described in this application.

What technical assistance, education, and mentorship is available to applicants and awardees?

The KU Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is available to provide assistance and support to applicants as Certified Program Partners leading up to the loan program process and after. NetWork Kansas technical assistance opportunities, the Chamber’s Small Business Resource Series, and other networking and support is available.

Can a denied applicant re-apply?

Applicants who are not approved for funding are encouraged to continue working with their Program Partner to re-evaluate their application with the feedback received from the Financial Review Board (FRB) to either submit a stronger application or pursue other opportunities.

Financial review board

  • Mack Curry, Attorney, Riling, Burkhead & Nitcher, CHTD
  • Annie Myers, Financial Planner, Feldmeyer Financial
  • Will Katz, Founder and Owner, Blue Owl Valuation
  • Gabe Gutierrez, VP of Commercial Lending, Truity Credit Union
  • Michele Hammann, Chief Strategy Officer, SSC Advisors, Inc.
  • Frank Lemus, VP/Commercial Loan Officer, First State Bank & Trust

Contact Us

785-865-4411 Email Us

EDC of Lawrence & Douglas County
718 New Hampshire St. Lawrence, KS 66044