The grocer said it had reached its initial goal of funding $10 million in low-interest loans to local and independent food businesses. The program has provided 184 loans to 155 companies since it was created in 2007. Some Illinois loan recipients are featured on the company’s website.
Borrowers have to meet Whole Foods Market’s quality standards and use the money to expand. Loans generally range between $1,000 and $100,000.
Whole Foods operates more than 350 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.