Community Dividend

Partners launch National African American Small Business Loan Fund

Published February 25, 2016

Valley Economic Development Centers (VEDC), a Los Angeles-based community development financial institution, is partnering with JPMorgan Chase to create a new lending program for African American-owned small businesses. The National African American Small Business Loan Fund is designed to help address the needs of African American entrepreneurs, who are the fastest-growing segment of small business owners but have not seen the number of loans made to them rebound since the 2008 economic downturn. The new loan program will operate in the three U.S. cities with the highest numbers of African American-owned businesses: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. JPMorgan Chase provided a $3 million grant to seed the fund and VEDC aims to raise an additional $27 million for it. Loans will average $35,000–$250,000 and the fund will also provide technical assistance. To be eligible for loans, small businesses must be majority-owned by African Americans.