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Cincinnati Access Fund Aims to Boost Minority Entrepreneurship

The newly announced Cincinnati Access Fund has Fifth Third Bank and LISC Greater Cincinnati joining forces to provide capital and technical assistance for minority- and women-owned small businesses. The $3.5 million loan fund addresses the capital gap that many minority small business owners face. As Maurice A. Jones, LISC president and CEO, stated, “We know from our own experience that community-based businesses—especially those in areas that others might consider too risky or complicated—are good investments when done right.”

The excerpt below is from:
Cincinnati Access Fund: $3.5M fund offers new growth opportunity for women, minority business owners
By Lucy May, WCPO Cincinnati

In God’s Hands Christian Youth Center has been a fixture in the Kennedy Heights community for more than 19 years.

But getting a bank loan has been a struggle for owner Kathy Lamb-Tyler.

“I don’t think there’s continuity from bank to bank," she said. "You never know what you need to do. It’s hard to describe, but it’s more than difficult.”

A new resource called the Cincinnati Access Fund could make it a lot easier for small business owners such as Lamb-Tyler to get the money they need to grow their companies.

Fifth Third Bank, the City of Cincinnati and the Local Initiatives Support Corp., or LISC, are announcing the launch of the fund Tuesday morning. It’s a $3.5 million loan fund designed to provide access to capital and technical assistance to small businesses in Cincinnati that are owned by minorities and women.

Women and minority business owners generally have a tougher time getting traditional bank loans than businesses owned by white men. The Cincinnati Access Fund aims to bridge that gap and will offer two types of loans:

  • Micro loans for new and existing small businesses that have had trouble getting traditional financing. Loan amounts typically will be for $100,000 or less.
  • Term loans to help businesses grow revenue and add jobs. Loan amounts range from $100,000 to $350,000.

“I one hundred percent believe that it’s going to increase hiring and job opportunities in Cincinnati,” said Kala Gibson, Fifth Third’s head of business banking. “More importantly, it’s going to create jobs within specific communities within Cincinnati.”

That’s what Lamb-Tyler said she wants to do. Continue to full article [+]...