VEDC and JPMorgan Chase Announce Loan Fund for African American-Owned Small Businesses

The National African American Small Business Loan Fund will increase
economic opportunity for small businesses that lack access to credit and
primarily serve low-income communities in New York City, Chicago and Los

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–VEDC and JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced a new lending program for
African American-owned small businesses in New York City, Chicago and
Los Angeles. The National African American Small Business Loan Fund
will boost economic opportunity for minority-owned businesses in these
cities and help them serve low-income communities by providing them with
greater access to capital, technical assistance and financial
consulting. JPMorgan Chase Foundation has contributed a $3 million grant
to help VEDC reach its goal of creating a $30 million loan fund.

Facilitated by VEDC, a California 501(c)3 Community Development
Financial Institution (CDFI), this new Fund will provide financing for
businesses across all industries. By providing the initial $3 million
grant to seed the Fund, JPMorgan Chase is helping VEDC support small
businesses that are a critical source of jobs and economic opportunity
in their neighborhoods, but may be credit-impaired and unable to qualify
for traditional capital. Without access to sustainable financing, these
businesses may miss a growth opportunity or risk closing their

“As a direct small business lender and a leading intermediary of SBA
loan programs, VEDC has a 39-year track record of providing business
services to small businesses in low-and middle-income communities and
especially in communities of color,” said Robert Barragan, President
. “Approximately 20 percent of our existing portfolio
serves the African American community. With JPMorgan Chase’s seed
funding, we look forward to helping more small businesses in our effort
to further narrow the lending gap.”

Currently, there are 268,000 African American-owned small businesses in
New York, Chicago and Los Angeles – making them among the top cities for
African American-owned small businesses. With ownership of approximately
1.9 million, 7 percent of small businesses nationwide, African Americans
are the fastest growing segment of small business owners.1
However, business loans to African American entrepreneurs have yet to
rebound since the economic downturn in 2008.

To address this need, the National African American Small Business
Loan Fund
will provide short and long-term loans. Loan sizes will
vary, but the average loan will range from $35,000 to $250,000. The
JPMorgan Chase grant will allow the National African American Small
Business Loan Fund
to provide loans and technical assistance and
establish a loan loss reserve. This reserve will allow VEDC to expand
its lending criteria to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles small
businesses that traditionally did not qualify for a loan.

“African American small business owners have identified flexible capital
as a critical resource for growth, but they face a shortage of this kind
of support,” said Janis Bowdler, Head of Community Development for
Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase
. “CDFIs like VEDC provide small
businesses with the consulting and financing they need to grow their
operations and often serve as a bridge to traditional bank loans down
the road. We’re proud to partner with VEDC on this new fund, which will
increase access to the capital and assistance that African American
entrepreneurs need most.”

Businesses receiving financing will be able to use the capital to
expand, finance equipment, address short-term cash flow needs and
provide contractor lines of credit. The Fund will also provide small
business loan recipients with technical assistance such as networking,
marketing, business plan development and financial consulting. Eligible
small businesses must be majority-owned by African Americans.

Notable Statements of Support

“This new lending program will be another critical piece in our ongoing
efforts to promote small business development and entrepreneurship in
all Chicago communities, and particularly those that have traditionally
lacked access to capital,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“By investing in Chicago’s minority-owned businesses, VEDC and JPMorgan
Chase are showing the power of the private sector to help cities tackle
some of our biggest challenges.”

“African American-owned small businesses are vital economic engines in
Los Angeles, and when they are empowered, our communities have new doors
open to them — opportunities that they both need and deserve,” said Los
Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
. “We expect great things from this
fund, and thank VEDC and JPMorgan Chase for their commitment to
addressing this great need.”

“These small businesses are the heart of our neighborhoods,” said New
York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
. “They put people to work and create
opportunity for families to make their way up the economic ladder. We
are excited to partner with JPMorgan Chase and our fellow cities to
support and grow African-American small businesses.”

“We know that mission lenders hold the key in providing a sustainable
source of capital to minority borrowers and those that have been left
out of the economic mainstream,” said Grady Hedgespeth, Director of
U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Economic Opportunity.

This new fund complements the recently launched Detroit
Minority Business Loan Fund
– a $6.5 million loan fund for Detroit’s
minority-owned small businesses – announced last month by Detroit
Development Fund, JPMorgan Chase and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Detroit is
the fourth largest U.S. city for the number of minority-owned businesses.

Interested small businesses in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles can
learn more about eligibility by contacting VEDC at (212) 231-4310.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is a leading global financial services
firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is
a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and
small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing,
and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average,
JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States
and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and
government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. The firm uses
its global resources, expertise, insights and scale to address some of
the most urgent challenges facing communities around the world including
the need for increased economic opportunity. Information about
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

About VEDC

VEDC is a leading non-profit small business lender that is changing the
way small business lending is done by making it more available and
impactful. With a growing footprint, VEDC has lent $380 million in
direct and guaranteed loans to over 104,000 small businesses and created
more than 28,000 new jobs. VEDC’s mission, as a certified Community
Development Financial Institution (CDFI), is to help create jobs and
promote small business development in under-served communities. It
provides loans and micro-financing options to small businesses,
particularly those owned by women and minorities, that don’t qualify for
traditional financing. VEDC’s expanding portfolio is composed of
community-based loan funds in California, Illinois, Nevada, Utah, New
Jersey, Connecticut, Florida and New York. For more information, visit



JPMorgan Chase:
Nicole Kennedy, 215-864-5732
Winkle, 818-907-9977