The company applauded the success of its initial $10 million venture, which awarded 184 low-interest loans to more than 150 businesses since it began in 2007.
“Expanding the Local Producer Loan Program is a direct result of the innovations and successes of our loan recipients,” said Betsy Foster, Whole Foods Market global vice president of growth and business development, in a news release. “By playing a role in advancing new ideas, growing businesses and realizing dreams, Whole Foods Market stays connected with both our neighborhood producers and our global food community.”
The additional $15 million, which brings total funding to $25 million, interested producers can apply for loans to expand their businesses, from artisan food products to hydroponic farming facilities.
“The most rewarding part of the loan process is building relationships and sharing ideas for progress,” said Dwight Richmond, Whole Foods global grocery purchasing coordinator, in a news release. “Whether it’s improving the business plan, discussing market trends or connecting people with new partners in our network, it’s exciting to see the results of great teamwork combined with monetary support.”
To qualify, recipients must meet Whole Foods Market quality standards, use funds for expansion, and have a viable business plan. Loans range from $1,000 to $100,000 with fixed interest.
For more information, and to view testimonials from loan recipients, visit the Local Producer Loan Program information page.