Runners and walkers can help a Kenyon College student local-lending group get out of the starting gate by participating in a 5-kilometer run/walk on Saturday, May 4.
Local Lenders, a student micro-financing organization raising money to provide loans and business support in Knox County, are hosting the first Local Lenders Annual Podyssey 5-K Run/Walk at 10:00 a.m. at the Brown Family Environmental Center. The race will be followed by a local-foods barbeque at the environmental center at 11:00 a.m. Registration fee for the race is $7, and the barbeque, which is open to anyone including those not involved with the race, costs $3.
Local Lenders is a non-profit organization that is preparing to make small loans, with an intended outreach to Knox County farmers, to promote economic and environmental sustainability, said Alexandra Britt '15. "Our focus rests mainly with economic sustainability as we try to locally combat the recent decline in small businesses," she said. "We want them to continue to prosper."
Providing low-interest loans in the $500-$5,000 range is the Local Lenders goal. And the group is also preparing to offer marketing services and help with grant applications. An agricultural project, for example, may involve helping a local farmer buy organic feed, finance a canning operation, or erect a greenhouse.
"Our goal is to provide loans and business and educational support to local businesses so that they can realize their potential as thriving facets of a beautiful, rural community," said Philisile Dube '13, who is the Local Lenders president.
The group also recently raised money through a coffee-sale initiative with Wiggin Street Coffee in Gambier. Local Lenders sold bags of coffee produced by the Wiggin Street operation that prides itself on working with coffee-bean importers sensitive to sustainability.
To register for the race, visit http://knoxlocallenders-org.doodlekit.com/home/llap_5k_race_registration. To learn more about Local Lenders visit www.facebook.com/LocalLenders or contact Britt at firstname.lastname@example.org and Dube at email@example.com