Indy, the first black led loan fund

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– City of Indianapolis Invests $ 1 Million in Indiana’s First Black-Led Loan Fund.

“The pandemic is hitting and black-owned businesses across the country have been disproportionately affected by the economic fallout,” said Jeff Bennett, deputy mayor of community development.

The city of Indianapolis is now allocating $ 1 million in US bailout funds to create the state’s first-ever community development finance institution loan fund, or CDFI.

“The intention of this loan fund is to be a permanent institution, not only in Indianapolis, but across the state,” said Marshawn Wolley, president and CEO of Black Onyx Management.

Wolley says the fund will target black business loans.

“You’re going to have organizations serving black-run businesses that take a look at black businesses and say, ‘Let’s think about how we can make something work,’” Wolley said.

Research shows that black businesses are denied loans by banks more than twice as many as white businesses.

“It’s something that could be very impactful and important,” Wolley said.

“I think this is helping our city to start leveling the playing field for black-owned businesses and black communities across the city,” Bennett said.

Once funding is approved, board members will meet to hire a CEO and CDFI consultant.

“Anyone should be able to apply once the loan is fully set up and funded,” Wolley said.

City leaders say the loan fund will not only develop an important component of the local business climate, but will provide new opportunities for communities of color.

“We really hope it’s hope,” Wolley said. “This someone understands, someone cares.”


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