Community nonbank lenders are saving minority-owned businesses

CDFIs are guarding stores and ready to lend to proprietors

National /
Jun.June 04, 2020 04:52 PM
Burned-out businesses along Snelling Ave. in Minneapolis (Credit: John Autey / MediaNews Group / St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images)

Burned-out businesses along Snelling Ave. in Minneapolis (Credit: John Autey / MediaNews Group / St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images)

Many community-based nonbank lenders are stepping to help minority-owned businesses damaged in the civil unrest that’s gripped cities across the country.

Some of these lenders are taking on security duty to protect their clients’ stores, while others are helping businesses rebuild after being burned and looted, according to the New York Times.

Community Development Financial Institutions are private sector lenders that utilize private donations and federal funds to support businesses passed over by traditional banks, mostly because they see them as too risky. In a lot of cases, that means minority proprietors.

CDFIs help minority proprietors get funding to open businesses, provide financial and legal services, and support them in a number of other ways. Some are going above and beyond.

Employees with the Ferguson, Missouri-based CDFI Justine Petersen gathered around one of its clients, Reds The One and Only BBQ, on Tuesday to deter vandals and looters. Justine Petersen granted small loans to around two dozen businesses that were destroyed during protests after the police killing of Michael Brown in 2014.

Meda, a CDFI in Minneapolis, has spread the word around the riot-rocked Midtown neighborhood that it is prepared to help businesses rebuild if they’ve been burned or looted.

Another local CDFI has helped organize neighborhood watches and encouraged clients to keep watch over their spaces. [NYT]Dennis Lynch


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