Nonprofit lender to assist Auburn startups with funding opportunities

(Source: Sabre Finance)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 1:59 PM EDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - The City of Auburn is partnering with a Birmingham-based nonprofit to provide funding for startups, minority-owned, underserved, and other local businesses seeking growth opportunities in the area.

Officials say Sabre Finance, a Community Development Financial Institution, helps bridge the financing gap for higher-risk projects that traditional lending institutions may not be comfortable funding.

“We’ve been working to develop a more complete entrepreneurial ecosystem in Auburn by adding another financing option for startups and small businesses to get funding locally,” City of Auburn Economic Development Director Phillip Dunlap said. “A CDFI like Sabre will be a great asset to Auburn, closing the gap for some businesses to get loans that would otherwise be unattainable.”

In addition to funding, the group will also give local businesses access to free technical resources, including:

  • One-to-one business advisement
  • Entrepreneurship and specialized industry training
  • Professional services such as legal, human resources, marketing, IT and accounting
  • Business development and networking events

“Rather than focusing on our success, the unique thing about Sabre Finance is that we focus on the success of the businesses we work with, no matter if they borrow from us or not,” Sabre Finance CEO Dr. Ray Morris said. “We help companies at all stages of life with growth as the focus — growth of the local job market, growth of the business and growth of the fund, which allows us to expand the total amount available to be loaned.”

As a loan loss reserve for Sabre’s Auburn fund, the City of Auburn and the Industrial Development Board both contributed $75,000 and $150,000, respectively.

Sabre Finance is in the Auburn Center for Developing Industries at 1500 Pumphrey Avenue.

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