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Publicly financed business loan programs may cover equipment, real estate, working capital, façade improvements or other expenses. Eligibility and availability vary by location and program, as shown at the bottom of this page.

Getting Started

The best place to start is often at your local financial institution. Additionally, the organizations listed below can help you determine what you may be eligible for.

>> Small Business Development Center
How to prepare to apply for a business loan, how to prepare a business plan
>> SCORE Counselors to America’s Small Business
How to prepare a business plan, finding sources of funding
>> 3CORE
3CORE manages loan programs for a number of communities and can help you determine which program you qualify for

Wherever you go, expect to be asked for the following documents:

  • Business Profile – business history, sales, employees
  • Business Plan – business strategy, financial projects, risk factors
  • Loan Request – how funds will be used
  • Collateral – how loan will be secured, including equity in business
  • Financial Statements and/or tax returns (Business and Personal) – 3-year history of company, personal statements of owners, partners, officers and large (20%+) stockholders

Business Expansion

Public funds can provide “gap financing” for business expansion, making up the difference between your bank loan and private investment. To qualify, you generally need to show that the expansion will benefit the economy by creating new jobs, sales tax revenue, or some other benefit.

If your expansion will significantly impact the economy, your economic development representative may be able to structure financing to support infrastructure or other improvements related to your project.

>> 3CORE
Financing for business expansion
>> Butte County Economic Development Corporation
Coordination and referral for expansion services, including financing, site location, and hiring incentives
>> Government (see profile for your city)
Infrastructure improvements or other incentives for projects that create many jobs or improve the tax base (contact economic development representative)

Business Start-up

In many cases you will need to rely on private sources for business start-up funds. However, the SBA 7(a) loan guaranty and some community funds can be applied to this use. The following resources can direct you to start-up financing.

>> Small Business Development Center
How to prepare to apply for a business loan and business start-up advice
>> SCORE Counselors to America’s Small Business
Business start-up advice, finding sources of funding
>> 3CORE
Manages some funds that may be used for start-up
>> U.S. Small Business Administration
Business start-up and financing information

Venture Capital and Angel Investors

Fast-growth entrepreneurs generally go through several rounds of financing, starting with private seed funds, then angel funding with the proof of a viable concept, and evolving through one or more rounds of venture capital as the company moves toward profitability and full commercialization.

Angel investors and venture capital firms are generally looking for an equity position in fast-growth companies with a potential for significant profits that will (they hope) offset the extra risk of investing. Some investors focus on specific industry sectors or growth stages.

>> Golden Capital Network
GCN’s Venture Communities portal

Business Loan Programs in Butte County

Various Loan Programs
Tri-County EDC
(530) 893-8732
Butte County, including some cities Working capital, real estate, furniture, fixtures, machinery, office equipment, expansions, start-up, leasehold improvements, lines of credit Amt: Typical range is $25,000-$100,000
Desc: Tri-County Economic Development Corp. manages a number of funds on behalf of local communities; contact them for details
Industrial Development Bonds
California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED)
Butte County, including cities Land, building, equipment Amt:
Desc: Long-term loan for manufacturers and processors; 20%-30% below commercial rates
SBA 7(a)
Apply through your local banker. More information at
Butte County, including cities Working capital, machinery, equipment, furniture and fixtures, property and construction, leasehold improvements, debt refinancing Amt: Max. $2 million (max. guaranty is $1.5 million)
Desc: For existing businesses or start-ups; 10-25 year maturity
SBA 504
Closest Certified Development Company (CDC):
Superior California Economic Development
(530) 225-2760
Butte County, including cities Real estate, machinery, equipment for expansion or modernization Amt: Max. ranges from $1.5 million to $4 million, depending on project; job creation requirement: usually 1 job per $50,000 borrowed
Desc: Long-term, fixed rate loans for existing businesses; typically covers 40% of cost, with 50% by private lender and 10% from borrower;
Recycling Market Development Zone Loan Program
City of Chico
(530) 896-7203
City of Oroville
(530) 538-4307
Chico/Northern Butte County RMDZ
Oroville RMDZ
Working capital, machinery and equipment, real estate and property improvements, refinancing Amt: Max. $2 million / max. 75% of project
Desc: Primary business must be located in RMDZ. Project must result in annual diversion of nonhazardous solid waste from California landfills. Fixed, below-market interest rate
Commercial Façade Program
City of Chico
(530) 896-7203
Chico Designed to use both public and private funds to rehabilitate, upgrade, and generally improve the appearance of commercial building facades within the redevelopment project areas Amt: Up to 80% of façade improvement cost. Executive Director may approve loans up to $30,000.
Desc: Low interest (.5%) 15 year loans or the date on which the property is sold or transferred for qualified applicants
Revolving Loan Fund
City of Gridley
(530) 846-3631
Gridley Real estate, working capital, machinery, equipment, office furnishings Amt: $10,000-$200,000
Desc: Match requirements, interest prime +3% (min. 5%); generally 5-10 years; project has public benefit (e.g., job creation)
Microenterprise Business Loan
City of Oroville
(530) 538-4307
Oroville Working capital Amt: $5,000-$15,000
Desc: company has 5 or fewer employees; project must retain or increase employees and/or increase tax base.
Net Interest Deduction for Lenders
City of Oroville
(530) 538-4307
Oroville Enterprise Zone This is not a loan but provides added incentive for lenders to approve business financing by offering them a state tax deduction. Applies to business loans, mortgages, and loans from non-commercial sources. Amt:
Desc: Business must be located solely in enterprise zone; used strictly for business activities in zone, lender can’t have equity or ownership in company.
Revolving Loan Fund
City of Oroville
(530) 538-4307
Oroville Working capital, inventory, equipment, real property, furniture and fixtures Amt: Up to $250,000 (higher with HCD approval)
Desc: Gap financing; at least 51% of jobs from targeted income group households
Commercial Façade Program
City of Paradise
(530) 872-5915
Paradise Major or minor exterior improvements to existing structures Amt: Up to $2,500 (minor)
Up to $15,000 (major)
Desc: Business currently in downtown or RDA; demonstrated net gain to economy Minor project: 1:3 private to public matching grant; Major project: 1:1 matching loan/grant combination
Business Expansion Grant
City of Paradise
(530) 872-5915
Paradise Business expansion, including property acquisition, building demolition, some infrastructure improvements and ADA Amt: Up to $10,000
Desc: 2:1 private to public matching grant; business currently in downtown or RDA; project will increase sales tax, jobs, etc.
Relocation Grant
City of Paradise
(530) 872-5915
Paradise Building code, permitting/development fees, ADA, access, relocation expenses, some infrastructure Amt: Up to $10,000
Desc: 2:1 private to public matching grant; business currently outside Paradise; project will increase sales tax, jobs, etc.
StartUp Business Incentive Program
City of Paradise
(530) 872-5915
Paradise Technology purchase/upgrade, manufacturing and/or production equipment Amt: Up to $10,000
Desc: 2:1 private to public matching grant; selected new business in downtown or RDA that generates sales tax or other benefit; business plan required.

Disclaimer: This overview of loan programs was prepared with information available at the time; terms, conditions, eligibility and availability are at the discretion of the providers and may change without notice.