Bank of America launches down payment grant program to spur growth of women and minority businesses


Bank of America announced the launch of a small business grant program to spur business growth and help create generational wealth opportunities for women and minority business owners.

The program will launch in select markets, including Los Angeles, with plans to expand in 2023, extending credit to historically disadvantaged small business borrowers and providing support to make buying commercial real estate more affordable.

“Today, many business owners from diverse backgrounds lack access to the capital and technical assistance needed to qualify for business loans, which can help secure transferable assets that create equity. across generations,” said Jill Calabrese Bain, head of small business onboarding and transformation at Bank of America. “We are committed to addressing inequalities in business ownership by providing entrepreneurs with access to the expertise, resources and capital needed to achieve their financial goals. »

The program will be available to eligible women and minority-owned business owners applying for 504 and 7(a) commercial real estate loans for the Small Business Administration (SBA). Commercial real estate properties must be based in Opportunity Zones in Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas and Los Angeles as defined by the US Treasury. Eligible business owners can apply for down payment grants, covering up to 50% of the required injection (capped at $25,000).

Program eligibility requirements also require 51% female or minority business ownership and owner occupancy, and a minimum 5% down payment from the applicant. Additionally, Bank of America’s small business specialists will team up with local nonprofit partners focused on small business to provide financial education services.

The program is the latest of many resources the company is committed to helping small business owners in local communities, including a Business Advantage Secured Credit offering a $1,000 to $50,000 line of credit to owners business; a comprehensive database designed to help women and minority entrepreneurs learn more about navigating the capital landscape and identify potential sources of funding; and an education center providing advice and solutions for all aspects of business ownership, covering topics such as business strategy, client relationships, financing options, optimizing operations and managing cash flow. Treasury.

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Elaine R. Knight