Cheyenne LEADS and the Cheyenne Chamber Provide a New Type of Funding

Cheyenne LEADS and five community partners recently unveiled its LEADS M.E. Fund, a micro-enterprise line of credit. The LEADS M.E. Fund will provide a line of credit program unlike any in the state.

The LEADS M.E. Fund focuses on funding opportunities for the creation and expansion of “micro” businesses within Laramie County. The LEADS M.E. program will also provide networking mentoring, education, technical assistance, training, and marketing opportunities through its various partners. The fund serves any resident of Wyoming doing business in Laramie County, but targets low to moderate income individuals.

The LEADS M.E. Fund has been established to provide lines of credit to start-up or expanding small businesses located within Laramie County that are unable to obtain financing through traditional means. “There are people in our community with great ideas and opportunities for growth in their businesses but due to their size or credit situation they are unable to get the financing they need to reach these opportunities. This is the main reason LEADS felt it was important to create a micro-enterprise fund program. We are very excited to be able to offer this program to entrepreneurs in the Laramie County community,” commented Tim Thorson, Vice President of Cheyenne LEADS.

The LEADS M.E. Fund is funded by five separate community partners: the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, Cheyenne/Laramie County Economic Development Joint Powers Board, Cheyenne LEADS, the Wyoming Women’s Business Center and the Wyoming Small Business Development Center. The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce is a partner to help support the growth of entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit in the community. The Cheyenne/Laramie County Economic Development Joint Powers Board partners in the LEADS M.E. Fund helping to provide funding and oversight for economic development projects as a partnership of the City of Cheyenne and Laramie County. The fund was created and is directed by Cheyenne LEADS to encourage economic development and opportunity. As the administrator of the fund, the Wyoming Women’s Business Center is the main borrower point of contact, providing all line of credit origination, customer service, borrower counseling, technical assistance, portfolio management and primary reporting. The Wyoming Small Business Development Center is a partnership of the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Business Council and the U.S. Small Business Administration and provides referrals, screening and business plan assistance to prospective LEADS M.E. clients.

For more information about the LEADS M.E. Fund, please contact Andrea Presse, Director of Microlending, at 307-778-3908.

The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce is a private nonprofit organization that uses member investments to build a strong local economy, promote the Cheyenne community, represent business to the government and provide networking opportunities. For more information on Chamber membership, call Julie Hunter at 778-1405.

Cheyenne LEADS is a private, not-for-profit economic development organization serving as the economic development entity for the City of Cheyenne and Laramie County, Wyoming. LEADS garners its operating funding from more than 300 corporate and individual dues-paying members and contracts with the City of Cheyenne, Laramie County, and the Cheyenne-Laramie County Economic Development Joint Powers Board. LEADS can assist non-retail businesses in all phases of relocation or expansion in the area.