The City of Berkeley offers financing options for local businesses.
The City of Berkeley offers financing to support local businesses. Funding is available to support Berkeley business creation, expansion, working capital, or purchase of fixed assets, equipment, and real estate. A variety of alternative and external funding options are also available.
Revolving loan fund
The City of Berkeley’s Revolving Loan Fund program can provide access to capital for businesses and entrepreneurs who seek to grow and retain jobs, but do not qualify for a traditional bank loan. The funding is available to all Berkeley-based businesses. Loans are available for business expansion, purchase of fixed assets, working capital, tenant improvements and real estate purchase.
- Loan Amounts: Loan amounts are typically between $50,000 and $100,000, but can be up to approximately $150,000.
- Fixed Interest Rate: Revolving loan fund interest rates are the Prime Interest Rate at time of loan approval plus 2 percent.
- Loan Terms: Typically are 5 years, but can be up to 7 years as demonstrated by the successful applicant.
- Loan Collateral: Required; Personal guarantee required of all principals with 20% or more interest in business. There is also an equity requirement for existing businesses (10% of the requested loan amount) and 20% requirement of the requested loan amount requirement for startup businesses.
All the loans are underwritten, reviewed and approved by the City’s Loan Administration Board (LAB).
How to apply
To get started on your application, send an email to email@example.com with the subject “City of Berkeley Loan Fund” indicating your interest, your business location, and preferred loan size.
Temporary funding opportunities
- Berkeley Resiliency Loan Program (RLP): Eligible business can apply for low-interest loans up to $50,000. This program is administered by Working Solutions and has a rolling deadline until funding is exhausted.
- COVID-19 Business Damage Mitigation Fund: Berkeley businesses that have sustained property damage since March 16, 2020 can apply for grants up to $2,500. This program is administered by the Downtown Berkeley Association; for more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of Economic Development staff can also point businesses toward other lending opportunities, such as loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. If you have questions about business financing, email email@example.com for more resources or technical assistance.