NEW ORLEANS – Small minority-owned companies have often struggled to access cital and other tools to grow, a challenge that is more frightening than the economic upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic. But a new effort, announced Tuesday, aims to address the differences in the nation’s pockets that have long been gripped by poverty.
Hope Enterprise Corporation, which runs a Jackson, Mississippi-based credit union that specializes in lending and other financial services to underserved communities in the Deep South, is partnering with seven cities and nine historic black colleges and universities to launch “Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative.” Goldman Sachs 10,000 small business initiative provides up to $ 130 million for the efforts, which will be available to customers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.
It is estimated that well over 100,000 small U.S. businesses failed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many subordinate communities have been hit particularly hard. Many struggling companies were unable to obtain loans, including start-ups and those whose financial items did not meet banking requirements.
“We’ve seen companies close to record numbers, especially small businesses, parent companies and pop companies, those owned by colored people,” said Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope Enterprise Corporation, who spoke exclusively