Microloan Program

The Berwyn Development Corporation (BDC) Microloan Program is operated in conjunction with the City of Berwyn to retain and improve Berwyn businesses and encourages new business investments within the community. The BDC established a Commercial Loan Commission, composed of representatives of participating lending institutions. The Commission reviews applications and has final authority for either approval or denial of the microloan.  The program is capitalized by monies committed by the City of Berwyn.  Because the program is capitalized by public funds, funded projects must be located in the City of Berwyn and be compatible with the City’s economic development goals, procedures and guidelines.

Loan Amount

This program is designed to provide loans from $1,000-$10,000 to assist in good-standing existing businesses and to encourage new business projects within Berwyn city limits.

Procedure and Time Frame

The Microloan Program offers an expedited process for loan decisions.  The typical time frame, from review of the application to decision of a loan extension, is between 4-6 weeks.

The process is as follows:

  1. The BDC Commercial Loan Commission reviews applications.
  2. Two members of the BDC Commercial Loan Commission will conduct a site visit, if applicable, with the potential borrower prior to loan approval.
  3. The BDC Commercial Loan Commission makes the final determination as to whether the loan should be extended.

Loan Fee

The BDC and the City require program applicants to supply the BDC with a completed loan application and a nonrefundable application fee.

The application fees structure are based on the loan size as follows:

  • Loans $1,000-$3,000: ¬†¬†¬† $75.00
  • Loans $3,001-$6,600:¬†¬†¬†¬† $75.00
  • Loans $6,601-$10,000:¬†¬† $175.00

Program Overview

The BDC reviews each application on a first-come, first-served basis on its own merits without prejudice with respect to age, disability, sex, marital status, race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, receipt of public assistance, or borrower’s good faith exercise of rights under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.

Loan Fund Restrictions

Permitted Fund Uses: Construction, rehabilitations, machinery and equipment, installation of commercial and industrial facilities, working capital expenses, inventory, legal and accounting purposes, purchase of furniture or fixtures.

Ineligible Fund Uses: Purchase of real estate, refinancing existing debt, leasehold improvements, property tax payments and insurance premiums.

Loan Terms

The interest rate is reviewed annually by the Loan Commission and is subject to change.The maximum term of the loan will be three years.

Collateral and Equity
All loans must be secured. Collateral may include, but is not limited to Business and Personal assets. A Personal Guaranty may also be required.  The owner must contribute 10% of the project cost in the form of equity.

General Loan Criteria

In general, the following broad criteria apples to BDC Microloan Loans:

  • Program applicant must have or able to obtain a Business License from the City of Berwyn.
  • Program applicant must be in compliance with all city ordinances including applicable building codes.
  • Program applicant must keep their businesses in Berwyn during the term of the loan.
  • Program applicant must provide sufficient financial information to justify the extension of credit.
  • Program applicant must be able to provide a business plan or revenue forecast.¬† The BDC is available for assistance in producing these documents.
  • Program applicant must be over 21 years of age. Applicants over 18 may still be eligible but will require a cosigner.
  • The business must be for-profit. Businesses not eligible include, but are not limited to, gambling (not as primary source of funds), firearms, retail liquor, and pornography.
  • If the program applicant is an owner, he/she must have a propriety interest in the subject property for at least the length of the loan as approved. In the event of a change in ownership, legal or equitable, of the subject property, the entire indebtedness shall, at the option of the holder, become immediately due and payable.
  • If the program applicant is a lessee, the length of the lease must be at least the length of the loan as approved. Written approval of the building owner is required for all loan-sponsored leasehold improvements.
  • The City, the BDC and/or the lead lender reserve the right to seek all necessary information from or about the program applicant, including credit references.
  • Program applicant must assume personal liability.
  • Program applicant is responsible for any and all costs incurred prior to notification of final loan status should their loan application be denied.
  • Project work must correct all code violations and conform to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Program applicants must allow the City to make permit and work progress inspections as is its legal right and obligation.

Commercial Loan Commission

The BDC’s Commercial Loan Committee, is composed of representatives of participating lending institutions, the President of its Board of Directors, and its Executive Director.   The Commission meets monthly to review loan applications, monitor loans, and discuss initiatives.


Microloan Application: English version | Spanish version


Participating financial institutions

Aztec America Bank

Citizens Community Bank

Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest

MB Financial Bank

Pan American Bank

©2011 Berwyn Development Corporation | 3322 S. Oak Park Ave., 2nd Floor, Berwyn, IL 60402 - (708) 788-8100