A New Jersey-based loan agency has allocated $10 million to Black-owned businesses struggling to access capital.
The World Business Lenders announced the spending at its fall social Oct. 24 as part of a partnership to support the African American Chamber Fund.
The contribution would support members of the African American Chamber of Commerce, according to the lender.
Rep. Edolphus Towns, Archbishop David Billings III and Doug Naidus, the chairman and chief executive officer of World Business Lenders, said in an earlier news release the commitment is aimed at providing low-cost access to capital for Black-owned small businesses.
“Throughout my thirty years in Congress, one of my top priorities was expanding opportunity for traditionally disenfranchised communities that wanted greater access to the American Dream,” Towns said.
“Now, with the African American Chamber Fund, we will be offering minority entrepreneurs more access to capital to create or grow their own businesses,” he added.
Some 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in the United States currently account for $150 billion in annual receipts, and they employ 975,000 workers, the African American Chamber Fund said in its release.
“Clearly, African American entrepreneurs are a driving force in our nation’s economy but, like all minority groups, they have more difficulty getting access to capital,” a Fund Vice Chairman Bishop Billings said. “Our goal is to ensure that the opportunity to thrive is available to every single one of these entrepreneurs who want to create more economic growth for our communities.”
Naidus, who also helps lead the Fund as a vice chairman, said in the release institutional investors have retreated from providing capital to small businesses in recent years.
That has especially impacted communities of color who already struggled “to gain access to capital from lenders on fair and transparent terms.”
“I am proud that World Business Lenders is partnering with civil rights and community leaders to ensure that African Americans are not left behind as they look to start or grow their businesses,” Naidus said.