Mayor Berke unveils new plan to use $500,000 in city money to help small businesses in Chattanooga

Darnell Moss, the owner of Moss' Place Catering, talks about what the Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund could do for his business during a press conference at Moss' Place Catering Monday, February 18, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. If he gets the loan, Moss plans to use it to repair the leaking roofs on his buildings.

A proposed new loan initiative aimed at bolstering existing small businesses and neighborhoods was rolled out Monday by Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.

The Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund is slated to use $500,000 in city money to help small businesses with so-called "hard" costs, such as facility renovations, equipment and inventory acquisition and even website development and marketing.

Matching money

Loans will require matching funds from the business in these amounts:› $500 to $5,000 loan: 12 percent match› Above $5,000 to $15,000: 18 percent› Above $15,000 to $25,000: 25 percentSource: City of Chattanooga

In the first year, Berke said he expects more than 10 companies to take advantage of the effort that could provide individual businesses with loans of up to $25,000.