Business Lending Solutions from GROW

First, the loan is just half of GROW’s lending program. We want to make sure that you have the support you need be successful, so we will follow up with you regularly to see how we can be of assistance and to connect you with other resources that will benefit you as a business owner. To start this process, you will need to attend our free Intro to GROW class before we close on a loan. It is offered on the first and third Thursday of every month at noon and 6:00 pm.

The lending program is available to small or start-up businesses located in the nine-county West Michigan area. Applicants are required to complete the loan application, and will also be asked to provide personal financial statements, a business plan with projections, and other supporting documents.


Lending Impact Since 2012


100% of loan customers receive support in the form of free business counseling, expert coaching, and access to classes/ training.

Who We Serve

  • 46% Underserved Communities
  • 62% Women-Owned
  • 59% Start-ups

Industry Breakdown

  • 9% Manufacturing
  • 4% Transportation
  • 20% Retail Trade
  • 11% Tourism/Hospitality
  • 56% Services


Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)

In 2016, Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) received the designation of a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in addition to their existing microloan program. A community development financial institution (CDFI) is a private financial institution that provides loans to small business owners, entrepreneurs, and community organization that might not qualify for loans for banks for a variety of reasons. Many times, lending is focused on low-income, disadvantaged, and underserved communities. CDFIs are certified by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which provides funds to CDFIs through a variety of programs.

CDFIs are part of a national network promoting economic growth in America’s underserved communities by financing businesses, creating jobs, and rebuilding neighborhoods.



GROW’s microloan program is designed to help entrepreneurs start or grow their small businesses, especially when traditional financing is not available. Below are some key points to remember when applying for a microloan, along with some of the program’s guidelines and requirements. If you have any questions about GROW’s microloan program, please e-mail us at or call us at 616.458.3404.

Loan Uses

Microloans range from $1,000 to $50,000 and may be used for any of the following:

  • purchase of needed business equipment (such as machinery, fixtures, or furniture)
  • purchase of supplies, materials, or inventory
  • working capital
  • removable leasehold improvements

Loan funds cannot be used for the following:

  • salary or owner’s draw
  • down payment on real estate
  • real estate purchase
  • payroll taxes

More information about our Microlending program can be found here.


Small Business Lending

We have extensive experience in launching and growing small businesses.

We’re in business to provide loans and business services to small business owners and entrepreneurs who create jobs and enable the communities of Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Newaygo, Montcalm, Barry, Ionia, Allegan, and Kalamazoo counties.

Loan Uses

Small Business Loans range from $50,000 to $250,000 and may be used for any of the following:

  • Pre-development costs
  • Acquisition, construction, or renovation of a building
  • Purchase of land
  • Inventory and working capital for a planned business expansion
  • Purchase of needed business equipment (such as machinery, fixtures, or furniture)
  • Purchase of supplies, materials, or inventory
  • Working capital
  • Removable leasehold improvements


Technical Assistance Services

GROW provides small businesses with technical assistance to help you start strong, gain success and continue to grow:

  • Strategic development
  • Business planning
  • Business mentoring services
  • Consulting services
  • Training Programs


If you’d like to talk more about our business lending options including Microlending, Small Business Loans and other funds or potential partnerships, please contact us today.