Partner Fund

As part of our commitment to grow the regional food economy, we’ve created the New Leaf Community Markets Partner Fund!

Through the Partner Fund, we provide access to capital and business support to historically underserved businesses in our community who may have trouble qualifying for traditional bank loans. As a mission-based loan program, we prioritize businesses owned by women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQIA+ and social mission-based companies.

Whether you are a food producer, farmer, fisherperson, or rancher, our region provides the ideal opportunity for small businesses like yours to hone your craft. With the Partner Fund, we can provide low-interest loans with negotiable repayment terms that will help your business grow sustainably.

Our goal is to get you the funding you need to help jump start your business growth. If you’re having trouble qualifying for traditional loans because of debt or low credit, the Partner Fund can provide the financial flexibility you need.

A few things to know:

  • Loans start at $5,000 up to $25,000
  • Pay-it-forward interest rates start at 3% for the term of the loan and are rolled back into the fund for future loans
  • Flexible repayment plans with 2, 3, and 5-year terms


New Leaf Partner Fund Recipients making ravioli in their kitchen

Partner Fund loans come with an array of business support and mentorship options to ensure you’re set up for long term growth and success. We’ll connect you with a combination of community business resources and New Leaf Community Markets staff to assist with anything from packaging and transportation needs to balance sheets and marketing support.


Partner Fund loans are available for new or existing business partners of New Leaf Community Markets.
We’re looking for the following qualifications:

  • A minimum of two years in business, with less than 25 employees
  • A business plan that shows your growth strategy
  • A snapshot of your financial fitness

Funds can be used to finance new business growth for:

  • Purchasing assets to expand current production
  • New product introduction or product expansion
  • Transitioning from farmers markets or food carts to a retail-ready product
  • Developing marketing programs
  • Adding new staff to grow sales

Loan funds cannot be used for the following:

  • Personal income or salary
  • Emergency funds to maintain general business operation
  • Pre-startup research and development


Successful applicants must complete the application and eligibility process by providing the necessary financial documentation and company information required; including a viable business plan with a strategy to repay the loan.


Please review the information below, fill out the loan application, and someone from our Partner Fund Team will contact you to discuss your business plan and loan options.

Step 1: Apply – Click here to download the loan application and answer a few questions about your business.

  • The application process includes providing a letter of reference from a business mentor and an outline of your business plan
  • Once completed, email materials to

Step 2: Review – We will contact you to discuss your application and ask any additional questions.

Step 3: Qualify – Our Partner Fund Team will review your application and follow-up to let you know if you qualify.

  • If you qualify: We will outline the details and terms of the loan and share information about other services you are eligible for as part of the loan
  • If you don’t qualify: We will explain why and provide ideas on how you can enhance your application in the future
  • Loan timing: Applicants who qualify will receive funds within 90 days from the time the application is approved by our Partner Fund Team