Truist Financial Corporation in Charlotte, North Carolina, has announced a $40 million contribution to establish a nonprofit fund in support of BIPOC- and women-owned small businesses.
The CornerSquare Community Capital fund will support community development financial institutions (CDFIs) through the purchase of 25 percent loan participations, enabling the CDFIs to increase their lending and expand support for local small businesses. According to the financial services company, all of the funding will be allocated in support of racially and ethnically diverse and women small business owners in low- and moderate-income communities, with a focus on African American-owned businesses in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The fund will operate as a subsidiary of the NC Rural Center, a nonprofit that supports small business owners and entrepreneurs in low- and moderate-income communities.
Initial CDFI partners in the fund include Georgia-based Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF) Florida, the San Antonio-based LiftFund, the North Carolina-based Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIFund), Nashville-based Pathway Lending, and the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF).
"We're thrilled to expand our partnership with Truist on this innovative program to help underserved small businesses with their single largest need — operating capital — during this difficult time," said NC Rural Center president Patrick Woodie. "The first-of-its-kind fund provided by Truist will allow our selected CDFI partners to do more with their existing capital, enabling them to expand their reach and scope across Truist's footprint and beyond, while increasing our collective support of historically underresourced small businesses."
"As Truist continues to have intentional dialogue around social and racial equity, we're excited to embrace new partnerships and business endeavors to make a meaningful and positive difference in the communities we serve," said Truist chair and CEO Kelly S. King. "We're proud to support these impactful CDFI partners who share our vision to support underserved communities and provide a sustainable source of funding for racially and ethnically diverse and women-owned businesses that haven't had access to the traditional lending market in the past."
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