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Community Leadership in Action

  Tahoe Chamber  |   May 12, 2020   |   Chamber NewsCommunity NewsPress Releases

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Establishing a South Shore Resilience Fund

The Tahoe Chamber is honored to be working with Tahoe Chamber member MOBO Law, LLP (“MOBO”) to promote the Sierra Business Council’s (“SBC”) Resilience Fund for small businesses on the South Shore. This is a micro-lending program specifically designed to help small businesses, many of whom are at serious risk due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Resilience Fund approach was initiated for the Truckee-North Tahoe area by the SBC, a Truckee based nonprofit dedicated to innovative economic development in the Sierra. The Resilience Fund offers loans up to $25,000 at 2 percent APR for five years to borrowers who are eligible under SBC’s criteria. Priority is given to businesses that can show that any loan proceeds they receive will be used as essential working capital to help them reopen.

The Tahoe Chamber and the MOBO will work with SBC to bring this same approach to the South Shore. However, to do so requires substantial private sector investment. Chamber CEO Steve Teshara stepped up immediately with a $1,000 personal contribution to get the fundraising started. He was quickly followed by other community leaders, each pledging the same amount or more, including Rich Molsby and Marissa Fox of MOBO, Jerry Bindel of Forest Suites Resort, Heidi Hill Drum of the Tahoe Prosperity Center, Jamie Orr of Cowork Tahoe, and Amanda Adams of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.

This is an open invitation for other community leaders and organizations to join with us to make the Resilience Fund a reality on the South Shore. We know there is a real need to help our small business community. For more information and to invest directly, contact Rich Molsby and Marissa Fox at MOBO at 530-214-8700 or molsby@mobolaw.com or fox@mobolaw.com.

How it Works for Eligible Businesses

SBC receives the simple loan applications and prospective borrowers undergo a vetting process by which they must demonstrate their ability to repay the loan. During the loan term, the SBC and the Sierra Small Business Development Center provide ongoing counseling assistance to borrowers to further ensure repayment. SBC underwrites the loans and does not take a management fee from investor funds. This allows 100 percent of funds invested to pass directly to the loan program. This means more help to more businesses.

How it Works for Investors

Investors receive 2 percent annual return on their investment for the five-year term and no minimum investment is required to participate. Investors can, and should, direct their investment for the exclusive benefit of South Shore businesses. Because SBC is vetting, counseling and diversifying the funds over a large number of businesses, program investments are reasonably safe. Individuals may also make donations to the program that are tax deductible through the SBC. To date, substantial dollars have been invested to launch the Resilience Fund in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe. As a result, SBC has been able to help hundreds of businesses. SBC reports that more than 60 of the businesses helped have already received loans vital to their survival.

You can also learn more about this exciting and timely program with a visit to the Resilience Fund website at www.resiliencefund.org. This is not a temporary effort. We know that small businesses, many of which are family-owned, are the backbone of our economy because they support the employees and families of our community. One micro-loan could mean the difference between closing and losing a small business or the business being able to weather this pandemic-induced economic freefall. Please join with Tahoe Chamber, MOBO, and the Sierra Business Council to invest in our small businesses through the Resilience Fund.

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