If you have a question that's not answered on this web site, please contact us. We'll be happy to provide the answer.
Q – Who is eligible for loans?
A – EBCI enrolled individuals and non-enrolled individuals. Please look over our loan products for specific eligibility.
Q – What is the range of your loans?
A – Loans range from $1,000 to $250,000 (click here for details).
Q – How do I get started?
A – If you want help to start a new business, we’ll help you write your business plan. If you own a business and want to apply for a loan, a Business Development Specialist will explain Sequoyah Fund’s loan process.
Q – What can I use loan products for?
A – You may use loan funds to start a business or expand your business through equipment purchase, building renovations, leasehold improvements, inventory, and working capital. Take a look at our various loan packages.
Q – Do I have to have collateral to get a loan?
A – Yes. Sequoyah Fund requires collateral, even if it is in a subordinated position. Borrowers must contribute 10% of the project costs as equity.
Q – Can you help me with bank financing?
A – Yes. If you qualify for a bank loan, we can prepare and walk you through the process with one of our banking partners.
Q – Will you help me fill out paperwork?
A – Absolutely. The loan application process begins with an interview with a Business Development Specialist. Call 828-554-6719 for an appointment. You may complete the Customer Information Form ahead of time.
Q – What kind of documents will I need to provide?
A – If the Business Development Specialist determines that Sequoyah Fund staff and/or Board Loan Committee will likely agree that you a loan candidate, you will need to be able to provide the documents on the Loan Checklist.
Q – How long does it take to get a loan?
A – Loan applicants should allow 3 to 6 months to complete the loan application and review process.
Q – Do I have to take classes to get a loan?
A – Training is a pre-requisite for most Sequoyah Fund products. Even if you are a seasoned business owner, refresher courses are important to your overall business plan.
Q – Are there fees for your training, meetings with a business development specialist, or for submitting a loan application?
A – There are no fees for meeting with a business counselors. Some trainings require small registration fees to cover food, instructor, and material costs. There is a $25 loan application fee.
Q – Can I attend the training and classes without applying for a loan?
A – Of course. Just call 828-554-6719 for the latest class schedules.
Q – Do you pull my credit?
A – Yes. We pull credit immediately for client’s interested in a loan. Sequoyah Fund has a credit coach on staff to review your report with you and assist with credit repair, budgeting, and other financial needs.
Q – I know my credit is bad. Will I still qualify for a loan?
A – Sequoyah Fund considers many aspects when looking at loan requests, including your credit score, strength of business plan, business idea and even your character. If your score is low we have programs in place to assist. Call us at 828-359-5005 to schedule a meeting with a credit coach.
Q – Where can I find good office space in Cherokee?
A – Check out our coworking space, Open Office, for creative solutions to office space.
Q – What is a CDFI?
A – CDFI stands for Community Development Financial Institution. We are an independent, non-profit lender that is certified by the US Treasury CDFI Fund. We focus on assisting individuals who are good candidates to open businesses and pay back loans, but are not having their needs met from traditional bank loan products. We can also partner with banks in offering loan products, especially larger loans.
Q – Do you give any grants to small businesses?
A – No. We provide training, technical assistance and a loan fund program to support business development.
A – Yes, our Cherokee Business Guide (pdf) includes small business resources, licenses required, site reviews, and contacts for sign approval, legal, banking, and electricity; as well as training opportunities.
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