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Posted on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 : 11:58 a.m.

Ann Arbor-based startups Buycentives, Local Orbit land microloans

By Nathan Bomey

A personalized car sales incentives startup and an online local produce firm were among the Ann Arbor companies that received microloans in the latest round of funding distributed by the $1.5 million Michigan Microloan Fund Program.

The firms, Buycentives and Local Orbit, and Lansing-based CIMple Integrations received $95,000 in funding from the fund, which is managed by economic development firm Ann Arbor SPARK.

Buycentives’ technology helps car companies offer sales incentives targeted at individual consumers’ buying preferences. Local Orbit “connects restaurants, institutions and individuals with local farmers and food producers in one convenient online location,” SPARK said in a press release.

The Michigan Microloan Fund Program is a collaboration among several entities, including the Michigan Economic Development Corp., SPARK, Washtenaw County and the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Local Development Financing Authority.

Local officials collaborated in 2009 to offer the microloans to companies in situations where traditional bank financing and venture capital resources are typically not plausible.

With the latest round if microloans, $706,500 has been distributed to 18 companies, SPARK said.

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