Million Dollar Challenge

Million Dollar Challenge

The Million Dollar Challenge is an initiative to lend money to small businesses and startups in Hudson County that would otherwise be denied the necessary capital to pursue their business dreams. During this Challenge, the Union County EDC and the Hudson County EDC will provide loans from as small as $5,000 to as large as $5 million through a variety of loan programs.

Loan Programs:

3% Working Capital (up to $25,000)
Well-qualified borrowers (profitable businesses at least 3 years in operation and good personal credit) are eligible for up to $25,000 at 3% fixed for five years. No collateral is required and there are no prepayment penalties.

Microloans (up to $50,000)
The Microloan Program offers fixed-rate (5.0% – 9.5%), six-year loans with as little as 10% down for startup and existing businesses.  Businesses in operation for less than two years can borrow a maximum of $35,000; older business with a profitable operating history are eligible for up to $50,000.  There are no prepayment penalties.

Community Advantage 7a (up to $250,000)
Long-term loans (10-20 years) of up to $250,000 are available to start-up (in operation less than two years) and existing businesses.  These loans feature flexible collateral requirements.  Interest rates are Prime +3% – 4%, with as little as 10% down.

504 Commercial Real Estate (up to $5 million)
This program provides startup and established businesses with the opportunity to purchase, construct or improve their own building or purchase major equipment through long-term (10-20 years), fixed rate financing (current rates are approximately 5%). Borrowers can put as little as 10% down.

Get started today!
You can learn more about our loan program by viewing our press release and flyer below or visiting UCEDC’s website. If you have any questions, please call UCEDC at 908-527-1166.

If you’re ready to get started, complete the quick Loan Pre-Qualification Application. The information you provide on this secure form will help us to assess your eligibility and recommend the right financing option for you.

You will hear from UCEDC within two business days of your application. If appropriate, you will be asked to complete a full application and provide additional documentation.

We want YOU to succeed!
In addition to our loan programs, we have access to Federal, State and local resources and services and can put you in touch with the right people. Contact the Hudson County EDC Lending and Technical Assistance Manager at (201) 369-4300 extension 2 or at

Press Release

Hudson County Launches Million Dollar Challenge to Help Small Businesses
Lending initiative designed to reach businesses that can’t get conventional financing

The Hudson County Economic Development Corporation today announced the launch of “The Million Dollar Challenge”, a new small business lending initiative aimed at increasing access to capital for the county’s business owners and entrepreneurs.

Working in partnership with UCEDC, a nonprofit small business lender and training organization, the Hudson EDC is committed to bringing $1 million of fairly priced capital to viable start-ups and growing small businesses that would otherwise be denied conventional lending. Financing will be provided by UCEDC through its SBA loan products.

“Access to capital is the lifeblood of small businesses but too often, hard-working business owners and entrepreneurs can’t get the financing they need,” says Thomas DeGise, Hudson County Executive. “We want to give Hudson County’s small businesses a fair chance to start, grow and thrive and I’m pleased to see that the Hudson EDC has taken on this challenge with such an innovative response.” Loans of $5,000 to $5 million will be made available to start-up and established businesses throughout Hudson County. Hudson EDC and UCEDC staff will work with strategic partners such as business/professional associations, chambers, business incubators, and other public and private entities to promote the program and assist businesses in applying.

“The Million Dollar Challenge is all about helping businesses of all sizes and types get a fair chance to succeed,” says Michelle Richardson, Hudson EDC Executive Director. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a sole proprietor working from home or the owner of a generations-old manufacturing business – you are a vital part of our economy and community.”

There are many reasons why a sound small business may not be able to secure conventional lending, says UCEDC President Maureen Tinen. “Just being less than two years in operation can automatically disqualify you from getting a bank loan. Issues like insufficient collateral or not having enough of your own equity to contribute are other typical roadblocks. Our job is to look for the “yes” and we encourage the county’s small businesses to contact us.”

Small business owners and entrepreneurs can learn more about The Million Dollar Challenge by visiting the Hudson EDC website at

About the Hudson County Economic Development Corporation
The Hudson County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is a not-for-profit corporation organized to encourage and assist business to remain located in the County of Hudson and to attract new business to locate in the County of Hudson.  The EDC offers assistance to businesses in Hudson County in the areas of: access to working capital financing via a partnership with UCEDC; access to a trained workforce via collaborative efforts and partnerships with the Hudson County workforce system.  Technical assistance programs relate to activities such as: counseling and referrals; capacity training to support business growth strategies; governmental and private sector procurement; real estate site selection; and demographic research.

UCEDC, a nonprofit economic development corporation, is dedicated to promoting New Jersey’s small businesses with resources tailored to every stage of business growth.  Since our inception in 1977, we’ve provided over $24 million in loans to start-up and established businesses through a variety of SBA programs and other funding sources.  With its free counseling, bid matching services, and contracting workshops, our Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) has helped local businesses win over $2 billion in awarded government contracts.  And thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners have attended our workshops and seminars, giving them a strong foundation for success.

Media Contacts:
Michelle Richardson Executive Director, Hudson County EDC
201-369- 4370
Robin Preisler, Director of Business Development, UCEDC
908-527- 1166
Jim Kennelly, Director of Communications, County of Hudson
201-369- 4386