Small Business Loan Program a Good Fit for Some

3/20/19 – From Margie Hall, Lincoln Co. EDC

The Economic Development Council (EDC) would like to introduce Cassindra Maravilla, loan officer for the Tri County Economic Development District (Stevens, Ferry & Pend Oreille counties) USDA revolving loan program.
Cassindra will be available for appointments at the Lincoln County WSU Extension office conference room the second Tuesday of each month. She is eager to assist rural businesses and startups that need financial assistance, but have been turned down for a traditional bank loan. Cassindra can be reached at 509-684-4571 ext. 106 or cmaravilla(at sign)

I met with Cassindra to learn the ins and outs of her program. The following interview should answer most questions:

Margie: Who are you as a lender and where are your clients located?

Cassindra: We are a small revolving loan fund (Tri County Economic Development District) operating out of Colville, Washington, focusing on growing small businesses in rural areas (populations cannot exceed 50,000 people). We lend to nine northeast Washington counties and rural Spokane.

Margie: How do you qualify for a rural opportunities loan?

Cassindra: You must be turned down by a conventional bank because we do not compete with traditional lenders. We can get creative when it comes to assisting clients—for example, bankruptcy is not necessarily a barrier depending on the circumstances. And we also help startup businesses.

Margie: What is the maximum amount for loans?

Cassindra: We lend from $10,000.00 to $250,000.00. But the client must have at least 25 percent of “skin in the game” while we will finance up to 75 percent of the cost.

Margie: All right, so what kind of rates and terms do you offer?

Cassindra: Our interest rates are not subsidized and we do not compete with traditional banks, so we are not low interest. However, our terms are fixed for the life of the loan. We offer 5 to 7 years on equipment loans and 10 to 20 on real estate loans.

Margie: Which leads me to ask, what kind of business loans do you make?

Cassindra: We can lend on buildings, equipment, and working capital. All loans do have to be collateralized and the minimum rate is 120% of collateral to loan amount due to the fact that we lend to riskier clients.

Margie: Now, what does the application process entail?

Cassindra: We do ask for business plans from start-ups, but I offer technical assistance when it comes to business plans, projections, or financials if they are tied to a loan. So, I do the underwriting of the loan application then present the project to our loan committee. Once it is approved, I will service all loans—through the good or bad times. I am always accessible to my clients throughout the life of the loan whether that means continued technical assistance, etc.

Margie: So, what can’t you do?

Cassindra: We do not lend to private farms, private rentals, etc. They do have to be a business and the loan has to create or retain at least one job per every $50,000.00 loaned.

Margie: Do you partner with other traditional banks?

Cassindra: Yes, we have partnered with Keybank in the past and several other traditional banks. One of our goals is give traditional lenders the ability to make loans by being a junior lender on projects. Also, since we are not subsidized, we may lend to a start-up to establish the business and offer technical assistance until the client is able to either repay their loan or refinance with a traditional lender and acquire a better interest rate. Our goal is to make healthy loans that create a stronger business who can then apply for traditional credit.

If you or someone you know might benefit from meeting with Cassandra, please reach out to her.
She and her husband and son recently moved to the Reardan area!


Lincoln County EDC





Margie Hall
Executive Director
Lincoln County Economic Development Council
Lincoln County Visitor & Convention Bureau