Finance Your Business

City Loan Programs

The San Francisco Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) and Emerging Business Loan Fund (EBLF) are lending programs created by the City to provide low-interest loans to small businesses. Both funds are managed by local nonprofits who provide financing in addition to training and other resources.

SF Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)

Organization: Working Solutions
Description: Working Solutions offers microloans from $5,000 to $50,000 to start-up and existing small businesses.
Eligible uses:

  • Working capital
  • Inventory purchase
  • Equipment and machinery
  • Leasehold improvements
  • Startup costs

SF Emerging Business Loan Fund Program (EBLF)

Organization: Main Street Launch
Description: San Francisco Launch offers loans from $50,000 to $1,000,000 to businesses that create jobs for low-moderate income individuals.
Eligible uses:

  • Working capital
  • Equipment
  • Real estate
  • Tenant improvements

KivaZip Microloans

Organization: Kiva Zip
Description: Kiva Zip is a local non-profit that provides 0% interest loans up to $10,000 for small businesses and start-ups in the Bay Area. These loans are crowdfunded on their website and can be used for any business purpose.
Eligible Uses:

  • No Restrictions

Nonprofit & Community Lenders

Loans from nonprofit and community lenders have fewer restrictions than loans from traditional banks. These lenders often target disadvantaged groups like minority or low-income business founders who are less likely to receive loans from regular banks. 

These loans are usually smaller or have fixed interest rates so that borrowers are less likely to default (fail to repay their loan). In addition to capital, many provide services like training or technical assistance.


Bank loans are one of the most traditional and conservative ways to finance a business. Unfortunately, they’re also some of the hardest loans to get. When banks lend to new businesses, they usually only offer short-term loans, seasonal lines of credit, and single-purpose loans for machinery and equipment. Most banks also require a business plan as part of the application.

Last modified date: Fri, 09/23/2016 - 08:58