Food System Loans

Finance to Build a Sustainable Food System

Innovative agripreneurs need innovative finance solutions. We lend to businesses and nonprofits that work to improve the way food is produced, distributed and sold. Combining 35 years of lending experience and a national network of partners, we make loans to people who are transforming the food system.

We Lend To:

  • Food aggregators and distributors planning to renovate and upfit their warehouses
  • Grocery stores and food co-ops ready to purchase property or expand
  • Entrepreneurs hoping to start food businesses
  • Urban farmers who are expanding their distribution networks in low-income communities
  • Food waste and recycling companies

Loan Programs

We work hard to find the right loan for you and your business.

  • General business loans
  • Government loan programs, including:
    • New Markets Tax Credit program loans
    • SBA 7(a) loans 
    • SBA 504 loans
    • USDA Business and Industry Loan Guarantees

Loan Terms

  • Interest rates starting at 4%
  • Up to 25-year amortization for commercial real estate projects
  • Loans ranging from $50,000 to $15 million
With Love Cafe

Con Amor (With Love) Market & Cafe worked with Self-Help and partner NCB Capital Impact to secure financing for their 3,000 square foot start-up grocery market and cafe in a southwest Los Angeles food desert. Self-Help provided innovative financing for this start-up venture using a California state guarantee program that had never before been used with a food retailer. With Love provides produce and other healthy foods for the neighborhood, and also functions as a community hub and learning space.


Minneapolis' Eastside Food Co-op (EFC) opened in 2003 to bring local, fresh and natural food to the nearby community - an area low on healthy food options. By 2015, EFC had more than 5,200 active members and was ready to expand. Self-Help acted as lead lender for this $6.7 million expansion and renovation project in coordination with the City of Minneapolis, LISC and the USDA.