Small Business

Entrepreneurial development is vital in promoting economic self-sufficiency and alleviating poverty. Access to financing is essential to grow businesses that stabilize communities. From its earliest days, NCRC has provided resources for entrepreneurial initiatives in low and moderate-income communities and worked with financial institutions to increase small business lending to women, minorities, veterans and low- and-moderate-income communities. Empowering small businesses to thrive in these communities creates jobs and develops neighborhood wealth and financial stability. To address this and to provide a new way for concerned lenders to reach small businesses, NCRC offers a range of services that empower and enable them tro access the services they need. These services include:

Access to Data:
NCRC has successfully campaigned to make small business lending data available to the public to ensure transparency in bank lending. NCRC has also taken direct action to increase small business lending access by promoting the $100 million yearly Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) bill.

NCRC’s Banker/Community Collaborative Council developed the CommunityExpress program in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This innovative program combines SBA guaranteed loans from banks and free technical assistance from community-based organizations to both finance and guide entrepreneurs.

Process and Eligibility:
The program reaches small businesses in designated urban and rural low- and moderate-income areas, as well as firms owned by women, veterans, and minorities. Loans may be used for most business purposes, including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory and real estate acquisition.

Since the program’s inception in 1999, over 400 community-based technical assistance providers and 100 lenders across the nation have partnered to make over 18,000 loans totaling $476 million. These lenders include large banks such as US Bank and Wells Fargo, smaller banks such as TD Banknorth and Arkansas Valley State Bank, as well as credit unions and non-bank lenders.

DC Minority Business Enterprise Center:
Visit the DCMBEC site.

DCMBEC is a business consulting development agency that increases parity in business performance between minority and non-minority owned companies. DCMBEC utilizes strategic partnerships and the diverse business and professional backgrounds of its principals to improve the performance and profitability of minority-owned companies’. DCMBEC provides technical assistance and training, incubator space, networking opportunities and a host of other services to minority business entrepreneurs. It is the premiere business development agency of its kind and is cited as a national model for its outstanding record of success.

Process and Eligibility:
DCMBEC works with firms that meet the following criteria:

    * Must be at least 51% owned by an ethnic minority (not gender based)
    * Located within the National Capital Region
    * A for-profit entity generating, or having the potential to generate, $500,000 or more in annual revenues

In the past three years, DCMBEC has helped 431 clients and created 783 jobs, and has helped minority-owned businesses secure $93.9 million in procurement contracts, $27 million in the first two quarters of 2007 alone. The NCRC DCMBEC is ranked #3 in the nation among all similar minority business development agencies.

NCRC has founded a new Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to facilitate the origination of small business loans to minority and women owned businesses and entrepreneurs. The Community Development Fund is a subsidiary of NCRC and will become operational in 2008 utilizing public and private sector investments and support.

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