Business Financing

For $25,000 - $4million projects

For Medium Sized Companies

  • $1 – $3 million transactions
  • Senior or subordinate loans for industrial sector businesses
  • 2–5 year loans, 4–8% interest rate

The Atlanta Advantage Loan Fund is a revolving loan program for businesses in census designated low-income neighborhoods. The Fund was launched in 2015 through a partnership with AEMI, SunTrust Bank and Advantage Capital Partners and enables businesses to receive loans ranging from $1-$3 million for the purchase of equipment or machinery; working capital; training and recruitment; acquisition and/or renovation of property; and leasehold improvements.

How Does it Work?

Businesses in designated underserved neighborhoods in Atlanta may apply for senior term loans fully secured by assets or subordinate term loans that may have some collateral but not fully secured. Security may include all assets of the borrower including accounts receivable and inventory, equipment, real estate, and personal guarantees. The term loans will range from $1,000,000-$3,000,000, with interest rates of 4% to 5% on senior debt or 6% to 8% on subordinate debt. Terms will range from 24-48 months on senior debt and 36 to 60 months on subordinate debt.

Who Are the Eligible Applicants?

Eligible borrowers include manufacturers, distributors, and service providers, with the target being established businesses with a track record of sustained revenues and profits.

Are There Any Excluded Borrowers?

Yes: hotels, restaurants, and most retail operations, start-ups and early stage businesses of all types, financial services providers, golf courses, tanning salons, gambling establishments, and liquor stores will be ineligible for the program.

Suited for Small Businesses

  • $50,000 – $100,000 transactions
  • Senior or subordinate loans to expand small businesses
  • 3-7 year loans with 3-6% interest rate

In 2012, AEMI created the Atlanta Catalyst Fund as part of its mission to provide innovative, flexible financing to credit-challenged businesses in disinvested parts of Atlanta. The $500,000 revolving loan program serves businesses with smaller capital needs in Census designated low-income neighborhoods.
The Atlanta Catalyst Fund enables small businesses to receive loans up to $100,000 for the purchase of equipment or machinery; working capital; training and recruitment; acquisition and/or renovation of property; and leasehold improvements. The goal of the program is to help disadvantaged business owners, redevelop low-income neighborhoods, attract new investment and create jobs.

Loans have terms from three to five years, with interest rates ranging from 3%-5%.
To see if you are eligible for the Atlanta Catalyst Fund click here (link to map)

Suited for Start Up Ventures

  • $5,000 to $30,000 transactions
  • Supports Civic Entrepreneurship
  • Equity investments with ownership shares

The Atlanta Seed Equity Initiative is a mission-driven fund that helps support startup businesses with high growth potential in the City of Atlanta.

Invest Atlanta and the City of Atlanta have made retaining talented entrepreneurs and increasing resources for startups a top economic development priority for the City. Entrepreneurs in Atlanta have fewer options for investment capital, a major hurdle when trying to launch a new business.

The Atlanta Seed Equity Initiative was launched in 2014 to help address Atlanta’s limited resources and achieve AEMI’s mission of increasing access to capital for businesses that benefit Atlanta’s distressed neighborhoods. In order to achieve those goals, AEMI has established partnerships with organizations that share our mission and are connected to the local entrepreneurial community, including: The Center for Civic Innovation, Startup Atlanta, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), the Flatiron Building, and The City of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI).

Eligible entrepreneurs and companies must be located in, or provide a benefit to, distressed neighborhoods.

Combatting food deserts by providing access to fresh and healthy foods is one of AEMI’s strongest priorities. To achieve that objective, AEMI formed an innovative partnership with the Center for Civic Innovation, an organization that identifies key local challenges and finds social entrepreneurs working on innovative products or services that address those issues.

AEMI has provided a $50,000 investment to support the Center’s first “Civic Lab,” which addresses the challenge of helping Atlanta’s food deserts get access to fresh, healthy, affordable and clean foods. The Civic Lab is a six month accelerator program that provides mentorship, collaboration and training to create a sustainable business model for select entrepreneurs focused on the challenge of food access.

AEMI’s investment will be used by select entrepreneurs to implement their finalized business plans with a “pay for outcomes” contract. This contract will establish healthy food milestones and tasks for the entrepreneur to accomplish, with AEMI only paying for the outcomes that the entrepreneur achieves. This provides the entrepreneurs the opportunity to provide increased healthy food options in the community while simultaneously testing their business model in the real world marketplace. This will set the stage for future investment from investors based on successful performance outcomes. AEMI’s investment simultaneously increases food access in distressed communities while supporting early stage companies and entrepreneurs.

For more information visit


  • $5,000 – $100,000 transactions
  • 0% interest loans
  • Supports socially-minded entrepreneurs

Supporting social entrepreneurship is one of AEMI’s key priorities and we are committed to supporting entrepreneurs that achieve strong social impacts in Atlanta. The Civic Impact Loan Fund provides financing to businesses that are addressing a wide-range of critical social issues while creating new jobs in our local communities.

The Civic Impact Loan Fund was launched in 2016 in partnership with the Center for Civic Innovation. The Fund created a new investment tool that provides flexible, 0% interest loans to support social entrepreneurs who have early-stage businesses and are focused on the triple bottom line. The success of the first class of entrepreneurs attracted a matching philanthropic contribution from the Sara Blakely Foundation to increase the size of the Fund to over $250,000.

Eligible entrepreneurs must have an established business that is affiliated with (or has completed programming through) an incubator or start-up support organization. The businesses must also be socially-minded and have social impact as a core business mission.