April 19, 2022 | Main Spotlight: People-Centered Funding for Main Streets in the New Economy | By: Chris Cain, Microfinance Program Manager at Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development |
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Virginia Main Street (VMS) program is incredibly excited to co-host the 2022 Main Street Now Conference alongside Main Street America in Richmond, Virginia, May 16-18. Get to know our state, host city, and Main Street communities through this special blog series! Conference registration is open here. Check out the conference website and follow conference's Facebook and Twitter accounts for the latest updates.
In order to help small Main Street businesses thrive, we have to be creative about getting them access to capital. The prevailing mythology is that entrepreneurs can simply go to a bank and get a loan or raise money from their friends and neighbors, and that will be enough to help them get started. That's just simply not the case. Localized economies don't traditionally have the infrastructure to help small businesses that are less than two years old, and, as we know, many of them don't survive that long because of the lack of access to capital. Fortunately, microfinance
is a vehicle to provide small-scale, accessible capital to businesses and people while removing traditional barriers. Our local businesses need microfinancing, especially those that cannot otherwise get traditional forms of credit. It is a tool that helps communities and small businesses thrive, while allowing money to be reinvested in local businesses and neighborhoods where it is needed most.