Recently Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity director Warren Ribley announced $5 million in micro lending opportunities to help small business through the recession.

According to the press release, the fund is a revolving loan program funded through the federal "IKE" Disaster Recovery program and from DCEO's revolving loan portfolio under the High Growth and Emerging Small Business Loan Program. Microloans through the Fund can be utilized for a variety of start-up and operational costs. Newly formed business can apply for loans up to $50,000, while the limit for established businesses is $75,000. Loans originated will have a maximum fixed interest rate of 10 percent up to five years. The program will begin immediately and will run until funds are exhausted. Interested small businesses should apply directly to one of the lenders.

If you are a small business owner or are thinking about starting your own small business, I encourage you to apply today.