More aid for black-owned

Loan funds made available through diversity initiatives

A new partnership between the NAACP and the U.S. Small Business Administration is proving to be a recipe for success.

As part of the SBA/NAACP partnership, the SBA will work with the NAACP’s eight Community Development Resource Centers located throughout the U.S. to sponsor community development, small business and consumer awareness workshops and distribute SBA guaranteed loans.

“There are problems that lend themselves to minority small business growth, such as the lack of access to capital and credit,” says NAACP President Kweisi Mfume. “We usually look at the credit side, but the capital side is just as important. The NAACP and SBA provide the credit, so African Americans can now do it themselves.”

The SBA/NAACP partnership is one component of the SBA’s plans to deliver $1.4 billion worth of loan assistance to black-owned firms by the year 2000. That goal is part of the SBA’s Outreach Initiative, an effort to increase service to African American and Hispanic business owners.

The SBA also introduced a revamped loan program that will improve the Minority and Women’s Pre-Qualification pilot programs by allowing businesses to pre-qualify for SBA- backed loans of up to $250,000 before approaching a prospective lender. Previously, business owners had to apply to a lender before seeking SBA assistance.

For more information on SBA loan programs, contact your local SBA district office, www.sba.gov or call 8008-ASK-SBA. You can also contact the NAACP at 410-486-9227 for information on their Community Development Resource Centers.

AT&T’s SUPPLIER PROGRAMS
On the 30th anniversary of the AT&T Supplier Diversity Program, which emphasizes doing business with minorities, women and service-disabled veterans, the company announced it will contribute $1.2 million to provide financial assistance and training to minority-owned businesses.

“We wanted to reconnect with our Supplier Diversity Initiative and take the program to the next level,” says Kanita Sandidge, supplier diversity director for AT&T. “We also wanted to further economic development for minority businesses that face barriers in terms of accessing capital.”

The money that will be given to the National Minority Supplier Development Council and its Business Consortium Fund is geared toward high-tech companies in need of capital and training for expansion.

In addition, the company plans to start the AT&T Supplier Diversity Roundtable. External suppliers and representatives of business organizations will dispense advice to AT&T on ways to diversify and obtain new suppliers as well as increase opportunities for its current vendors.

For more information on AT&T’s supplier diversity program, call the AT&T Supplier Diversity InfoLine at 800-322-6923.

SBA SEEKS NOMINEES
The SBA is seeking nominees for its annual awards, handed out during Small Business Week in June. To obtain a copy of the nomination brochure, contact your local SBA district office, www.smallbusinesssuccess. sba.gov or call 800-8-ASK-SBA.

Awards are presented at the district, state and national levels. During Small Business Week in Washington, D.C., the winners meet with top administration officials, members of Congress and leaders of national business organizations. Winners are also honored at ceremonies in their own states.

“The men and women we’ll honor this year represent the best of America’s entrepreneurial spirit,” says SBA Administrator Aida Alvarez.”We

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