The City of Wichita will reopen applications for the PROPEL (Providing Resources & Opportunities for Proprietors, Entrepreneurs & Lenders) District 1 loan from Jan. 18 through Mar. 18. This time, thanks to a $100,000 donation from Intrust Bank, the low-interest, short-term revolving loan program for small businesses has expanded into a citywide initiative.
The PROPEL program began in May 2021 and initially addressed the issue of a lack of access to capital in the Black community in District 1. Councilmember Brandon Johnson and Christina Long, president of Create Campaign, worked to establish the initial $88,000 PROPEL fund with proceeds from the 2016 sale of the Hyatt hotel that was restricted for use in District 1.
“There were several new entrepreneurs that needed assistance with growth and expansion but couldn’t get access to low dollar amounts like $3,000, $5,000, or $10,000,” said Councilmember Johnson.
So, Johnson and Long looked for additional funding as a way to help businesses outside of District 1.
When approached, executives from Intrust saw the potential impact the program could have on small businesses in Wichita and jumped at the opportunity to contribute. Now, with the help of the Intrust Bank donation, entrepreneurs across the city can now apply for the Propel Loan program that offers loans for up to $20,000 at a 3% interest rate.
“When you think about it, the health and success of our community really depends a lot on those entrepreneurs and small businesses and helping foster growth,” said Intrust President Jay Smith. “We look forward to some great success stories coming out of the program in 2022.”
As a revolving loan program, the principal and interest paid on loans made from the initial $88,000 fund are used to not only replenish but increase the amount of funds available for lending.
Only one loan was made during the initial application period and Johnson said that company has already started paying back their loan and replenishing the loan fund.
Propel loan applications will be approved within 30 days and must be repaid within 36 months.
If you need assistance preparing your documents or completing the loan application, the site recommends several entrepreneurial support organizations that can assist you. Applicants can find additional funding for small businesses and workforce development here:
Qualifications for Propel Loan Applicants
To qualify for a Propel loan, applicants must meet the following requirements:
Be in business for at least two years
Be able to demonstrate that their company has “majority ownership by a socially- and economically disadvantaged person or persons.
Be able to show and explain the business executive summary and the business plan key concepts
Provide copies of 12 months of personal and business bank statements, as well as personal and business tax returns for the year prior to application.