Small Business

JPMorgan Chase grants aim to expand micro-lending in South Florida

JPMorgan Chase is more than doubling the size of its global Small Business Forward program by committing $75 million over the next three years to support women, minority and veteran-owned small businesses, including through programs that connect small business owners with alternative funding sources when they are unable to qualify for traditional loans.

In South Florida, a $250,000 two-year grant to Accion will help increase the lending organization’s capacity to serve more micro- and small-business owners, launch its Community Advantage loan program, and expand operations to include Broward County. Accion provides loans up to $50,000 and offers free financial education to small businesses.

JPMorgan Chase also will be supporting Grameen America with a two-year $500,000 as it expands to Miami-Dade County. Grameen’s pioneering microlending program will provide small loans to Hispanic women to help them build businesses, achieve higher family incomes and develop entrepreneurial skills.

Small businesses are growing fastest among people of color, particularly Latinas and African American women, yet Brookings Institution research shows minority-owned businesses rely significantly more on investments of personal or family wealth than on outside debt or equity. Moreover, only 16 percent of conventional small-business loans go to women entrepreneurs, a U.S. Senate report found, and despite the higher startup rate for African-American owned businesses, these businesses received less than two percent of SBA loans in 2013.

Launched in 2014, Small Business Forward is a global initiative to support small businesses with the potential to grow, offer quality employment, and generate financial security and economic opportunity for vulnerable populations and their communities by connecting capital with highly targeted technical assistance and support networks to help small businesses grow sustainably.

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