The La Luz Center microloan program has been expanded to aid in business recovery and expansion in Sonoma Valley after the North Bay fires.

Created three years ago, the microloan program was founded with private funding.

Since then, the program has provided both low-cost loans and business guidance to foster the growth and success of new and existing enterprises in the Sonoma Valley.

The fund offers assistance to businesses that would not be eligible for traditional bank loans.

With support from the Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund, La Luz can now reach out to businesses impacted by the fires.

The intent is to kick-start the development of new business ideas with enhanced funding, staff support and guidance.

Applications for a La Luz microloan are assessed, and loan amounts are based on the merit of the proposed business plan.

Additional information on the Microloan Recovery Project is available by contacting Juan Hernandez, executive director, or Marcelo Defreitas, board chair,, or by calling La Luz Center, 938-5131.