Chicago Nonprofit Increases Loans for Black Entrepreneurs

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The not-for-profit organization specifically caters to black-owned small businesses that are either denied or denied access to commercial investment because loans are too small or companies do not have sufficient collateral or adequate credit ratings.

“Many foundations and banking institutions have indeed doubled their investments in our organization, especially during COVID and during the civil unrest caused by the assassination of George Floyd,” said King, who is listed on Crain’s Notable Minorities in Commercial Banking 2020 list. “We’ve always raised capital, but I think the pandemic has really highlighted a lot of existing imbalances.”

The organization said it changed its name to Greenwood Archer Capital to pay tribute to what is known as Black Wall Street, a thriving and thriving black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the early 20th century. The business community that was killed and destroyed in 1921, sat at the intersection of Greenwood Avenue and Archer Street.

“We believe our work is built on the growth of small and black businesses, so we wanted to make sure we deepened our commitment and chose a name that truly matched the work we have done historically and the work we want. keep doing, ”King said.

The new, larger loans are for small business owners to purchase commercial real estate for their businesses, King said. The loans will not require upfront payments and the interest rate will be only 3 percent.

Since its founding in 2012, Greenwood Archer Capital has provided approximately $ 18 million in loans and grants to over 1,600 small businesses. About 90 percent of loans and financial services were provided to minority entrepreneurs.

The not-for-profit organization serves a variety of industries in Chicago, King said, but has also struck deals with companies in Normal, Illinois, and Northwest Indiana. Greenwood Archer Capital attracts companies for lending through an app on its website, but also finds companies through events and workshops it hosts, as well as forging partnerships with accountants and banks.

“We know the barriers to people accessing capital, and so we exist to break those barriers,” King said.

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