Community leaders formed the original non-profit organization known as Okanogan County Investment Association in 1993, in order to provide financing alternatives to local businesses. This loan fund was comprised of a mixture of federal and state grants as well as contributions.
Over time, the service district was expanded to include Chelan and Douglas Counties and the entire Colville Indian Reservation (which encompasses portions of Ferry and Grant Counties as well), and renamed the North Central Washington Business Loan Fund.
The NCWBLF is an intermediary lender under the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Intermediary Relending Program (IRP), which has provided access to over $2.7 million in IRP loans for investment capital over the past decade.
Since its inception, the NCWBLF has made loans totaling over $3 million, which have leveraged an additional $7 million in total new investments. These loans – one-third of which were made to women and minority-owned businesses – have also resulted in the creation or retention of over 400 jobs, adding payroll and tax dollars to the local economy. As its capital base is replenished by repayment of principal and interest from the past loans, the NCW Business Loan Fund is able to recycle those dollars, lending them back to other businesses throughout the region for the benefit of all.
By combining intellectual capital, leveraged resources and organizational commitment, NCWBLF provides a unique funding option that delivers positive sustainable economic impacts to North Central Washington’s rural communities.