Delaware small businesses and nonprofits can now get low interest loans of up to $ 100,000 and free business assistance from the Southern Opportunity and Resilience Fund as they work to grow. recover from the pandemic.
Delaware businesses and agencies can start applying for ultra low interest loans of up to $ 100,000 and free business support through the SOAR Fund, a new program created by a diverse group of community lenders. aimed at helping small businesses and nonprofits navigate and rebuild. COVID-19 health and economic crisis.
According to the US Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey, 47% of small businesses in Delaware have less than two months of cash flow, and one-third of small businesses in the state plan to raise capital in the next six months.
The SOAR fund is launched with over $ 50 million in upfront commitments – provided by philanthropic, private and corporate investors – and aims to eventually lend $ 150 million or more to smaller businesses and nonprofits. 50 employees in 15 southern and southeastern states, including Delaware. The loans are designed to reach smaller businesses and those that have been historically underfunded, including those in rural areas and those owned by women, people of color and immigrants. These companies often struggle to access capital from traditional sources, but they are essential to create jobs and support economic recovery in southern communities.
The fund works with and through local community development finance institutions, which for decades have served the types of uninvested or underinvested businesses that the SOAR Fund aims to help.
“We are delighted to participate in the SOAR initiative, which fits well with our long-standing mission of providing access to capital in underserved communities,” said Daniel Marsh, President and CEO of the National Development Council. . âAs a small business lender and PPP loan provider, we know how difficult it can be to reach communities of color, but our track record shows it can be done. And SOAR is another important avenue to help. small businesses to get back on their feet. and prosper again. “
Eligible applicants will be matched with a participating lender who will assist the business owner with the application and provide advisory support. Applicants will be able to register online and be matched with a lender in less than five minutes.
âWe encourage all small businesses and nonprofits that have been affected by the COVID pandemic and need a helping hand in rebuilding to apply now,â said Patrick Davis, vice president of strategy and program development at Community Reinvestment Fund USA, which hosts the SOAR Fund. online platform. âThis is affordable capital that can help small business owners and nonprofits hang on and rebuild themselves, which is vitally important to all of us. Nonprofits provide essential services and support to our communities, and small businesses create jobs and provide valuable economic activity. Strong southern small businesses and nonprofits will lead to strong economic recovery for southern communities. “
Thirteen CDFIs are original loans purchased by the fund, including Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Accion Opportunity Fund, Ascendus, BCL of Texas, Black Business Investment Fund, Communities Unlimited, LiftFund, NCIFund, NDC’s Community Investment Loan Fund, Pathway Lending , People Fund, Southern Bancorp Community Partners and TruFund Financial Services. As a collaboration, these lenders have a comprehensive reach across the region, have served on the front lines of the economic crisis, and have decades of experience in providing high-level lending and advisory services to small businesses and businesses. non-profit organizations. CDFIs are supported by leading technical assistance and business support organizations, including Winrock International, LISC’s local offices and National Rural Program, and Small Business Majority, which will help with outreach, education and practical business advisory services. Calvert Impact Capital organizes and LISC Fund Management manages the SOAR fund.
The SOAR fund covers: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas , Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already uneven recovery from the Great Recession. Southern states have experienced slower economic growth, lower labor force participation, and higher unemployment than the rest of the country, in part due to the historic lack of business and philanthropic investment in the country. region, âsaid George Ashton, managing director of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which manages the fund. “The SOAR Fund will tackle these issues head-on by removing structural barriers to economic opportunity by providing capital to small businesses and nonprofits in the South who need it now.”
For more information and to apply, visit TheSoarFund.org.