The National Development Council has announced the launch of a small-business lending program to help African-American and minority-owned businesses in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, create jobs and build community wealth.
The Capital Access Fund of Greater Cleveland — a collaboration between NDC, the National Urban League's Urban Empowerment Fund, Morgan Stanley, the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County — will provide minority business owners with loan capital totaling $8 million as well as pre- and post-loan counseling aimed at ensuring the success of borrowers. To date, CAF has completed eight loans totaling $1.4 million, helping to create or maintain seventy jobs, and hopes to create or retain at least three hundred jobs over the next three years.
The capital for the program is being provided by the Community Impact Loan Fund and the Grow Cuyahoga Fund. Established with $2 million from Morgan Stanley, the former is a new NDC product that supports minority small-business owners, while the Grow Cuyahoga Fund is an existing NDC product that will offer affordable growth capital with longer terms and lower rates to borrowers who create jobs and investment opportunities.
"The level of interest we already have confirms what we already knew — there is a gap in the access to capital for minority businesses and we should not gloss over that," said National Urban League president and CEO Marc H. Morial. "Our partnership with Morgan Stanley, the expertise of NDC, the commitment of Cuyahoga County, and the strong leadership of the Urban League of Greater Cleveland already have made this a success."