Changes to Community Advantage program will connect more Black entrepreneurs to capital and resources needed to grow

MARCH. 30, 2021–WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Small Business Administration announced changes to the Community Advantage loan program, which enables Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to grant affordable loans to underserved borrowers, connecting Black communities to capital as a result. The Community Advantage program will now see an increased capacity to serve Black businesses through an increased loan size (up to $350,000), implement less-burdensome application and underwriting processes, slow the cycle of incarceration by providing access to capital to entrepreneurs who have paid their debts to society, and will enable an expansion of new lenders into the program to serve our communities until 2024.

Ron Busby Sr. President and CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc, said the following: “The US Black Chambers is proud to support the changes to the Community Advantage program, understanding that the program plays a critical role in connecting Black businesses to capital in their communities. CDFIs ensure that Black firms can access capital from institutions who look like them, live in their communities, and understand their local economies. Underscoring that access to capital is the primary barrier for Black businesses to grow and scale, we applaud the SBA and the White House for working with stakeholders to ensure that programs like Community Advantage can continue to adapt to meet the needs of today’s economy.”

As the national voice of Black business and the Black business community, the US Black Chambers looks forward to the implementation of these changes and will work alongside with stakeholders and partners to codify the program moving forward.

USBC Ron Busby attended a special event this morning at Howard University with Vice President Kamala Harris and the Greater Washington Partnership, a nonprofit civic alliance, to unveil the five-year, $4.7 billion commitment to boosting minority-owned businesses and underrepresented communities in Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas. The funds will go toward businesses and communities in the capital region, including to areas such as Washington D.C., Richmond and Baltimore.

The event included other special guests including Isabella C. Guzman, US SBA Administrator; Gina M. Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce; Ellis Carr, President & CEO of Capital Impact Partners and CDC Small Business Finance; Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, President of Howard University; Francesca Ioffreda, VP of Inclusive Growth, Greater Washington Partnership; and Peter L. Scher, JPMorgan Chase & Co.