The Orange County Small Business Loan and Grant programs directly help local businesses, giving about $1 million in loans and grants this year.
The Orange County Small Business Loan Program awards loans ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to for-profit businesses based out of Orange County with gross revenues that do not exceed $3 million annually. Additionally, the Orange County Economic Development Grant Program awards small and large grants for both business ventures and agricultural-related ventures.
Yvonne Scarlett, the business retention economic developer for Orange County Economic Development, said businesses must complete an extensive application to be considered. After submitting an application complete with business plans and growth projections, the application goes to the president of the Board of Directors for a preliminary review. If approved, the applicant then attends a meeting with the full Board of Directors for a decision.
“The meeting gives the applicant the chance to really let the Board of Directors know what kind of business they have, how they expect the business to grow, and it gives us an idea of how invested that business owner really is,” Scarlett said.
“We have some that come in and are so excited about their business and that’s refreshing. It’s great to see business owners that are so enthusiastic about what they are doing and what they intend to do.”