June 23, 2016, Los Angeles— VEDC today announced that it has loaned $2.26 million to 24 African American-owned small businesses in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York through a new National African American Small Business Loan Fund.
The African American Small Business Loan Fund was established in late 2015 with $8 million in support from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to provide financing for businesses across all industries. VEDC is seeking to expand the fund to $30 million to help small businesses that are a critical source of jobs and economic opportunity in underserved communities. Without access to sustainable financing, these businesses may miss a growth opportunity or risk closing their operations.
“Small businesses create economic opportunities that extend well beyond the business owner by providing job opportunities and commercial growth to the communities in which they operate,” said Daryl Shore, Vice President, Community Development Initiatives, JPMorgan Chase. “As both a seed and capital investment funder of the African American Small Business Loan Fund, JPMorgan Chase is pleased with VEDC’s ongoing success to increase access to capital for African American-owned businesses so that they can grow their businesses and, as a result, their local economies.”
African Americans are the fastest growing segment of small business owners
To address this need, the National African American Small Business Loan Fund provides short and long-term loans ranging from $35,000 to $250,000 for small businesses that are credit impaired and unable to qualify for traditional capital. There are 268,000 African American-owned small businesses in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago — making them among the top cities for African American-owned small businesses. With ownership of approximately 1.9 million, (7 percent of small businesses nationwide), African Americans are the fastest growing segment of small business owners. However, business loans to African American entrepreneurs have yet to rebound since the economic downturn in 2008.
“The fast start to the National African American Small Business Loan Fund shows that there is a real need for capital in communities of color,” said Robert Barragan, President and CEO, VEDC. “Through VEDC’s partnership with JPMorgan Chase, we look forward to helping African American entrepreneurs start and build their businesses.”
Khristopher Shavers, owner of Unbeatable Eatables in Chicago has been able to expand his business with the support of a small business loan from VEDC and the Chicagoland Business Opportunity Fund. He now has 2 locations and a food truck that have allowed to expand his brand into different areas of the city. “VEDC has been like a partner to me,” commented Shavers. “They were open and gave the little guy a chance. It was impressive that they were able to give a small business like mine a shot at something bigger.”
Businesses receiving financing are able to use the capital to expand, finance equipment, address short-term cash flow needs and provide contractor lines of credit. The Fund also provides small business loan recipients with technical assistance such as networking, marketing, business plan development and financial consulting. Eligible small businesses must be majority-owned by African Americans.
For more information, contact us at 818-907-9977 or visit www.vedc.org.
VEDC is a leading non-profit small business lender that has a 40 year history of changing the way small business lending is done by making it more available and impactful. With a growing footprint, VEDC has lent $400 million in direct and guaranteed loans to over 104,000 small businesses and created more than 32,000 new jobs. VEDC’s mission, as a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), is to help create jobs and promote small business development in under-served communities. The organization provides loans and micro-financing options to small businesses, particularly those owned by women and minorities, that don’t qualify for traditional financing. VEDC’s expanding portfolio is composed of community-based loan funds in California, Illinois, Nevada, Utah, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida and New York. Learn more about VEDC services by visiting www.vedc.org.