Direct Lending Program

Direct Lending Program

The WBDC knows that access to capital is critical for business success. We provide loans to small businesses that otherwise cannot get a loan from a bank. Typically this is because:

  • the loan amount is too small (less than $50,000) or
  • the business is too new (operating less than 2 years).

Glossary of Business Financial Terms
Access to Capital Informational Flyer
Kiva Informational Flyer

  • Loans are available to small businesses located in Northeast Illinois and targeted towards businesses with less than $1 Million in annual revenue. Businesses, including start-ups, may be eligible regardless of time in business, or size of business.

You ACTUALLY help small businesses.You don’t just say that you do.”
~WBDC borrower who received a $20,000 for working capital to serve a new, large client.



Loan Product Information

  • Loans up to $50,000 for established businesses
  • Loans up to $25,000 for startup businesses
  • Loans available for: equipment purchases, inventory, leasehold improvements, machinery, supplies, or working capital.
  • Interest rates from 7% – 12%
  • Repayment terms from 1- 5 years
  • Closing costs of 2% – 4%
  • No application fee and no pre-payment penalties

Do I Qualify?

Should I apply for a WBDC loan? Follow our 2 step process to see if you qualify for a WBDC loan.

Step 1: Identify Your Business Eligibility

Is your business in any of the following industries? The following industries do not qualify for a loan from the WBDC. All other business types qualify.

  • Financial services companies
  • Gambling establishments
  • Independent sales consultants
  • Manufacturer, distributor or facilitator of weapons and firearms
  • Multi-level marketing businesses
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Production, distribution or sale of pornography
  • Real estate investment, development, management and sales
  • Retail liquor stores
  • Ride share drivers and taxi drivers

Step 2: Match Your Lending Need to Our Loan Criteria

Read through the following questions. If you answer “yes,” to all of the questions, then a WBDC loan may be a great choice for you.