Bank of America supports minority business lending in N.H.
$40,000 grant to New Hampshire Community Loan Fund will provide technical assistance and peer connections
Bank of America has been a stalwart partner with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund in its work to strengthen local communities by addressing needs related to affordable housing, small business, and neighborhood revitalization.
To advance these goals, Bank of America recently awarded the Community Loan Fund a $40,000 grant to support its technical assistance for businesses owned by people of color.
Last year, the Community Loan Fund launched a statewide Minority-Owned Business Lending program (MOBL), also with the help of a Bank of America grant. MOBL facilitates the resilience and growth of businesses owned by people of color by helping them access financing and technical assistance, as well as peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Thirty-eight businesses have participated in the program to date.
|Financing from the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund helped Beatrice Adekoya and her husband relocate their Mercy of God African Market to Elm Street in Manchester.|
The new grant will enable the Community Loan Fund to provide coaching and technical assistance delivered by advisors who are either Black, Indigenous, or people of color, employ someone who is, or who practices diversity, equity, and inclusion. Current advisors include McLane Middleton for legal counsel, Wheeler, Ring & Dolan for tax advice, Sofia Printemps' Savvy Sof Restaurant Association, Center for Women & Enterprise, and NH Small Business Development Center of NH.
The grant will also help create multiple Community Business Advisory Councils made up of advisors and well-established business owners who are predominantly people of color. The councils can refer businesses to the program and develop a peer-to-peer network to share best practices. There is currently one Advisory Council in partnership with the NAACP of Manchester, and another will likely be formed in Nashua next spring.
“We are so grateful to have partners like Bank of America that understand the barriers Black and Brown business owners face and are willing to invest in overcoming them,” said Community Loan Fund President Steve Saltzman. “This grant will enable us to provide more business assessments, more coaching, and more loans, resulting in more thriving minority-owned business across N.H.”
“Bank of America shares the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s commitment to creating opportunity for all in the communities we serve, which is why we proudly continue to invest in their efforts to make New Hampshire’s economy more inclusive and accessible,” said Ken Sheldon, president, Bank of America New Hampshire.
The Community Loan Fund’s Business Finance team offers financing and education to all types of N.H. businesses with particular focus on farm and food, solar, and women-owned and minority-owned companies. The lenders serve companies that may be growth ready, but not yet bankable, and offer customized financing and technical assistance.
Donations to the Community Loan Fund pay for the specialized education and training it provides to its borrowers. Some donors choose to direct their gifts to deepen the nonprofit’s supply of “permanent capital”—money it lends many times over into N.H. communities.
Its lending pool comes from hundreds of interest-earning investments in the Community Loan Fund by individuals and institutions.
The Community Loan Fund, based in Concord, N.H., is a community development financial institution. It has received numerous honors for its innovative programs, including the NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance, the highest honor in its field.
Additional background about Bank of America’s Charitable Foundation giving can be found here.
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About the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund
The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund turns investments into loans and education to create opportunity and transform lives. Established in 1983, the Community Loan Fund was one of the first Community Development Financial Institutions in the nation and has received industry awards and recognition for social impact, financial strength, and performance. For more information, visit www.communityloanfund.org or call (800) 432-4110.