Microloan agency offers remote service in Aurora

Waubonsee Community College is helping to make it easier for owners of small businesses to get loans, by partnering with the Accion Chicago organization.

WCC's Small Business Development Center, located at its downtown Aurora branch campus, has become a remote lending office for the Chicago group.

Accion Chicago lends money, up to $25,000, to minority and low-income owners of small businesses. Many of its clients are unable to get conventional commercial financing for various reasons, including the small size of the loans needed, lack of sufficient collateral, or inadequate credit scores.

The nonprofit microlender serves the entire Chicago area, but did not have an office in Kane County, so clients had to go to Chicago to close on their loans. Now they will be able to do that in Aurora.

"It just helps them to service their area without having to staff the whole area," said Harriet Parker, director of the SBDC at Waubonsee.

WCC business counselors will aid applicants from within its district.

Parker said it has become even tougher for minority and low-income entrepreneurs to secure financing due to the economic downturn.

The loans are typically used for purchasing inventory or equipment, she said. Clients must provide some collateral, but perhaps not as much or the type that a commercial lender would require.

Accion Chicago has lent more than $16 million in the last 15 years.

For details, visit,, or call (630) 906-4143.