Over the past eight years, while other sectors of the community have been able to access dollars to grow their small businesses, African American-owned small businesses continue to have challenges in accessing capital.
They continue to be below 2% of all Small Business Administration Loans, with many African American business communities having yet to fully recover from the recent recession.
JPMorgan Chase is seeding $3 million to expand VEDC’s lending criteria and help New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles African American-owned small businesses that do not qualify for traditional financing.
JPMorgan Chase and VEDC have teamed to launch The National African American Small Business Loan Fund which aims to lend $30 million in the top three markets for African American-owned small businesses. The announcement was made on Friday, at JPMorgan Chase & Co’s World Offices in New York City.
Throughout its history, VEDC, a California 501(c)3 Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has assisted more than 100,000 businesses in creating and retaining over 25,000 jobs, opening over 1,900 new businesses. VEDC has also provided more than $340 million in direct and guaranteed lending to small businesses. Roughly 75% of its client base falls in the low-to-moderate income bracket, as well as over 45% of minority and 55% women-owned enterprises.
VEDC also has a long-standing fund history with JPMorgan Chase. VEDC received a $5 million grant from JP Morgan Chase in 2010 for a California statewide small business lending initiative and, because of JPMC support, VEDC was able to finance a total of $51 million to 340 businesses, which created 241 businesses, 2,055 jobs, and preserved 5,303 jobs within 3 years.
Uncle Darrow’s Cajun/Creole Eatery in Los Angeles represents the importance of the VEDC and JPMorgan Chase partnership. Norwood J. Clark Jr. is the CEO and president of Uncle Darrow’s, which has been operating as a family-owned business since 1994, opening their current location in Marina Del Rey in January 2001. The company offers healthier versions of fast food and prepares the majority of its products out of a 1,200 square foot commissary in Los Angeles.
With funding from VEDC, Uncle Darrow’s opened a second location in October, 2015. The new venue offers breakfast and lunch featuring Uncle Darrow’s award-winning Cajon/Creole recipes, and in the evening will include a full bar. With this expansion, Uncle Darrow’s is projected to create an additional 30 new jobs in the area. Check out this video.
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