Insight News

Feb 14th

Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce launches new fund for North Minneapolis

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lea-hargett-president-minnesota-black-chamber-of-commerceThe Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce (MBCC) announced that it is launching a new small business initiative fund, the Small Business Impact Fund (SBIF), to help minority-owned businesses based in North Minneapolis.

The MBCC is committed to the economic development of the African American business community, which includes both the direct and indirect benefit to the African American community as a whole. Bringing leveraged capital access to the business community can provide real and substantial impact to the community by helping distribute capital to targeted communities which will help create jobs, and encourage an exciting new way of doing reciprocal business with organizations within the community. The MBCC's goal is to leverage capital and business support through the establishment of this fund.

The SBIF will be administered and partnered with funds from Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) and other local community development financial institutions. The revolving loan fund will target lending to minority-owned businesses, with an emphasis on lending to African American businesses, within North Minneapolis. The MBCC has also partnered with the Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) to provide outreach, intake, assessment, and post loan technical assistance.

yvonnecheungho"We look forward to working with our partners to support businesses that need bridge financing or seed funding to start a business and create jobs," said Lea Hargett, President of the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce.

The fund's initial financing of $300,000 was granted through the African American Economic Development fund managed by The Minneapolis Foundation. To have an even greater impact, the MBCC plans to leverage with the resources of other entities that provide funding for businesses that have an economic development interest.

"MEDA is excited to collaborate with the MBCC and NEON on this important initiative. Access to capital is always a challenge for small business, and even more challenging for minority-owned businesses. We are here to work together to make an impact", said Yvonne Cheung Ho, President of MEDA.

The SBIF clients will complete a business assessment which includes a technical assistance plan. Post loan TA will include business/financial education, business performance review, and mentoring.

"NEON is looking forward to partnering with MBCC and MEDA in this new initiative to create a bridge between capital markets and minority entrepreneurs. We are optimistic and elated for the opportunity to help more minority entrepreneurs achieve their business goals while strengthening our local economy ", said Grover Jones, Executive Director of NEON.

The SBIF loan program will initially provide loans to small businesses currently located or willing to relocate in the 55411 and 55412 zip codes. This fund will also lend to businesses that cannot currently obtain credit from conventional sources. Preference will be given to businesses that create or retain local employment. The funds will be available starting in March 2013. To learn more about the small business loan fund, visit or call (612) 302-1505.

About the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce
The Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce is a statewide business association whose members own and/or operate businesses in manufacturing, wholesale, retail, trades, professional services, and the non-profit sectors. As a statewide chamber, MBCC represents the largest minority business group in Minnesota. The Chamber works to strengthen African American and other small businesses. Its' progressive leadership gives voice to the importance of economic development and job creation while directing attention to the issues that affect entrepreneurs and small business resulting in greater influence and positive perception in the marketplace, strategic alliances, and economic development for its member businesses, supporters, and the community of African descent.

For more information about MBCC, visit

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