The business micro-loan program at FAME Renaissance, the economic development arm of First AME Church, has received its largest donation thus far--$2.2 million from the federal government. The funds were granted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, which has set aside monies for earthquake-damaged businesses. The micro-loan program will disperse loans first to those businesses still recovering from the quake, and then to businesses in general throughout South-Central, said FAME Renaissance Director Mark Whitlock.
Said Whitlock, who credited the acquisition of the funds to the efforts of Linda Smith, micro-loan project manager: "What's really exciting is that we have an 85% pay-back rate from clients so far. We're proving that it simply takes capital to make businesses work."