ImpactAlpha, May 24 – The UP Community Fund will make loans ranging from $250,000 to $1.2 million to small businesses and organizations in the U.S. southeast, including the cities of Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, and Charlotte.
Minority businesses are declined loans at a rate three times their non-minority peers and, when approved, pay an average of 200 basis points more. Calvert Impact Capital and impact consulting firm Urban Advisors closed on the first $12 million of a planned $30 million fund “to address systemic financing challenges for minority-owned businesses.”
The southeast ranks at the bottom among U.S. regions for economic mobility, though some cities are exceptions. Charlotte, for example, has more than 13,000 black-owned businesses and organizations such as BLKTECH Interactive are working to expand the ranks.
- Syndication… Calvert not only invested, but arranged the fund and brought in other lenders, including Riverside Church, New Resource Bank, and MetLife Investment Management. Since Calvert launched its Capital Aggregation line of business last year, it has syndicated more than $130 million across nine transactions.
- Inclusive entrepreneurship… Backers of other initiatives to bridge gaps in both debt and equity for minority founders include: JPMorgan,Morgan Stanley, Living Cities and Backstage Capital.