ACCION USA – Small Business Loans; Financial and Business Advice

As a leader in U.S. microfinance, Accion is committed to bringing affordable small business loans to microentrepreneurs. Accion has provided over $119 million in over 19,000 microloans since inception in 1991, helping to grow small businesses and strengthen the communities they serve. Contact Accion at or view material on Small Business Loans.

The Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) was established by legislation (RSA 162-L) in 1983 to address the issues of affordable housing and economic opportunity for low and moderate income New Hampshire residents.

CDFA is an instrumentality of the state. That means were are both a body politic and a nonprofit corporation.

CDFA has had a long and unique history of raising funds and providing creative financing to community and economic development projects and programs in New Hampshire. From the early history of being expected to raise funds by accepting donations and selling stocks; to legislation that was created and then terminated three years later that enabled CDFA the unique ability to grant state tax credits for community development projects; to new legislation and establishment of the Community Development Investment Program; to the creation of the New Hampshire Main Street Center; to administer the New Hampshire Community Development Block Grant Program; and most recently the responsibility of creating and administering the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the BetterBuildings program.


In our early years, CDFA financed community development projects through an investment fund. Donations of foreclosed property from area banks made up a large amount of the investments. It was a very high concept program, but some major projects came together in those years. The authorization to issue tax credits expired in 1994.  In July 1999, we launched our Tax Credit Program, enabling businesses to directly invest in these worthy projects and receive a 75% above-the-line tax credit.

Over the years, CDFA has played a role in financing some of the most important, most recognizable projects in New Hampshire. Just a small sample of successful projects include:

  • Capitol Center for the Arts
  • Canterbury Shaker Village vistors center
  • Mountain View Grand
  • The Elliot at River’s Edge
  • Grappone Conference Center
  • Strawbery Banke visitors center
  • Keene Downtown Revitalization project
  • US First
  • Berlin state prison
  • Children’s Museum of NH

In addition to the state Tax Credit Program, we administer the Community Development Block Grant program, overseeing between $7-10 million in grants to municipalities and counties throughout New Hampshire.

In 1996, CDFA established the New Hampshire Main Street Center, which worked with communities that wished to maintain and revitalize their downtown areas. For more than ten years, NHMSC helped communities strengthen their Main Streets and village centers. After funding dried up, we closed NHMSC in 2007.

The BetterBuildings program launched in 2010, our first program directed to consumers as well as businesses. Funded through an ARRA grant, BetterBuildings will sunset in May 2013.

CDFA is committed to strengthening New Hampshire’s communities. Explore our website for more, or feel free to give us a call about anything on your mind.

Fair Food Fund – Northeast: Investing in Enterprises that Support Small and Mid-Scale Farmers in the Northeast

Our goal is to enhance the financial viability of small and medium-sized farms and to provide increased access to the food they produce for the region’s under-served communities. Therefore, the Fair Food Fund invests in established, growing enterprises (and in exceptional cases start-ups) that have an existing revenue stream, a strong management team, a viable expansion plan, and support small and mid-scale farmers in the Northeast. The fund gives strongest consideration to middle-of-the-value-chain enterprises that fall into one of the following three categories: 1) aggregation, storage, and/or distribution; 2) value-added production that emphasizes sourcing from farms in the Northeast; and 3) food technology that connects farms with consumers and/or wholesale buyers.

Fair Food Fund offers patient capital with a focus on providing subordinated debt and royalty financing in situations where financing needs cannot be met by banks, traditional equity sources, or philanthropists. We are also able to provide equity financing. The fund’s target investment size is $100,000 to $500,000 and may be offered as a stand-alone investment or as part of a larger financing package.  If you are interested in applying for Fair Food Fund investment and your enterprise meets our criteria, please contact Alex Linkow, Fair Food Fund Program Director, by phone at 734-730-3558 or by email at

Kiva Zip: San Francisco-based nonprofit that offers 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs and small business owners

Kiva Zip, a Kiva platform that facilitates community-driven loans, offers 0% interest loans from $25 up to $5,000 with a 6-month, 1-year, or 2-year repayment schedule. Kiva Zip connects borrowers with individuals in their local and online communities who are willing to contribute to their loan request. Hannah Grimes Center, a Kiva Zip trustee, then has the opportunity to sponsor a borrower’s loan request, which helps promote the borrower’s request on Kiva Zip’s website, increasing the chances the loan request will be fulfilled. To learn more, reach out to Kate Hickey at, e-mail Kiva Zip, or visit Kiva Zip’s homepage at

New Hampshire Community Loan Fund  Business Finance

Our Business Builder loans connect business owners with the risk-tolerant financing and expertise they need to compete in a changing marketplace. Loans range from $1,000 to $500,000 and are structured to fit the borrower’s needs. Our lending team takes the time to understand business owners’ opportunities, and will extend capital to businesses that may be seen as too risky by traditional lenders. We will also provide feedback and referrals to training and/or resources even when a loan is not appropriate for us. For more information, visit or call 603-865-0780. 

Vested for Growth provides risk-tolerant capital, business education, and peer-learning opportunities to help business owners increase profits and create higher-quality jobs. The only business financing program of its kind, Vested for Growth provides sub-debt and royalty financing when both banks and equity sources are unable to provide enough capital for the needs of the business. Vested for Growth also provides management assistance, industry contacts, CEO peer learning opportunities, and connections to additional sources of bank debt and private equity. For more information, visit or call 603-865-0780.

NH Farm and Food Initiative improves access to capital for New Hampshire farms, food providers, and others that support the growth of healthy sustainable food systems in the state. The Nonprofit is looking to partner with farmers who need capital to grow their scale, expand their markets, and add more value-added products. The Community Loan Fund will also lend to food infrastructure enterprises that need capital to grow the connections between farms and consumers, including aggregators, distributors, and processors. We are risk tolerant, flexible, and can help when traditional lenders (banks, Farm Credit, Farm Service Agency) cannot meet your entire need for financing, or you have been turned down altogether. To learn more, visit As long as your business has at least 12 months of revenue, you can fill out a brief inquiry form to start the process. If the Community Loan Fund is not the right match, it will explain why and connect you to other business education resources and/or lenders to get you on a pathway to a “yes.”

Since 1996, the Community Loan Fund has loaned more than $10 million to New Hampshire businesses.

Small Business Administration, New Hampshire

Starting or growing your business?  This might be the right time for financing!  The climate for commercial lending may have changed over the past few years, but lenders are lending.  We work with nearly every lender in the state and we hear consistently that they are looking for viable business deals.  While SBA loan volume has slowed this year, our participating lenders tell us it isn’t for lack of desire or effort on their part, they just aren’t finding as many businesses looking for financing.

Not all businesses or business ideas are immediately viable, but many such businesses can be made stronger.  We encourage all businesses considering financing to develop a strong proposal and to talk to your lenders and/or meet with an adviser.  Visit for a list of NH’s participating lenders and links to local business advisers.