The Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan has announced a $40 million initiative aimed at giving Black contractors in the state access to capital.
The Detroit Free press reports the initiative has $10 million readily available for contractors in Detroit. The initiative is led by the Black Caucus in partnership with the DRI Fund, ProFinCo and Crowdz. The organizations plan to increase sustainability and scalability for contractors when it comes to access to capital.
To make it easier for Black contractors to get capital, the groups have created a user-friendly process allowing contractors to get access to capital within a few days as opposed to the typical months-long process.
“We want to make sure that people know that there’s a tool and the Black Caucus Foundation has a resource, has a pathway to getting that compliance and access to capital to grow or create a business opportunity,” said Black Caucus Foundation Chairman and state Sen. Marshall Bullock, (D-Detroit) told Freep.
The program is aiming to increase the speed of payment by up to 80 percent and offer more access to technical support, which will increase contractors’ chances of receiving opportunities to work with the state’s public works and infrastructure projects.
The program will finance projects contractors are working on and there is no limit on how much funding a contractor will receive. Instead, funding, including the first $10 million, will be based on the size of each contractor’s project.
According to Christopher Aldridge, a managing member of ProFinCo, supporting contractors in the state will also lead to improvements in Detroit’s substandard housing units, which are considered homes that have a decent structure but may include unsafe or unhealthy living conditions.
The initiative could also lead to a boost in new housing in the city, which is needed as home prices continue to rise in Metro Detroit and Michigan.
“We are going to look at each project — how to help someone, how to help that project, how to help that minority business grow and fulfill their obligation to the contract with our help,” said Bullock. “We are going to give them a two-year mentor who’s going to help them manage and do all that technical service.” Contractors will also be able to gain a relationship with a bank.