Florida International University

Liberty City small business owners have until June 25 to apply for low-interest loans of up to $250,000 to help them grow their enterprises and create jobs in the community.

Partners for Self-Employment, a Miami non-profit serving Miami-Dade and southern Broward counties, has as much as $1 million to distribute among business owners in eight “empowerment zones.”

The county’s Empowerment Zone Initiative is intended to help create new business opportunities in lower-income neighborhoods. In addition to Liberty City, business owners in Alla- pattah, East Little Havana, Overtown, Wynwood, Melrose, Homestead and Florida City may apply.

Loans range from $50,000 to $250,000 at 3 percent fixed interest for terms ranging from five to 10 years.

To qualify for a loan, businesses must have existed for at least two years and provide supporting records. For every $35,000 borrowed, business owners must promise to create one full-time job lasting at least 90 days.

Barred from applying are adult entertainment businesses, security brokers/dealers, companies dealing with hazardous/toxic wastes and materials, convenience stores, gas stations and start-up restaurants that are not part of a franchise. Individuals or businesses that have ever filed for bankruptcy are also ineligible.

Business owners must apply by June 25.

For information, please call Partners for Self-Employment at 305-438-1407, ext. 315.