For years, entrepreneurs belonging to minority communities have played a prominent role in driving the U.S. economy forward. When considering minorities new to the U.S., a Kauffman study (PDF) conducted in 2013 found immigrants were nearly twice as likely as native-born citizens to start businesses each month.
Of course, not all minorities are immigrants and not all immigrants are minorities, but here’s another interesting statistic to put things even further into perspective. Minority owned businesses make up almost 15 percent of the 28 million businesses and employ more than 5.9 million workers in the country, according to CNBC. And yet these businesses often face difficulties while securing loans to grow their enterprises.
Luckily, there are some sources of small business loans for minorities that are worth exploring. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Loans for Minority Owned Businesses and How to Apply
Union Bank offers small business loans and lines of credit for minority entrepreneurs. Its Business Diversity Lending Program is aimed at assisting minority-owned businesses to qualify for the financing they need.
To be eligible, you should qualify as a minority under the bank-adopted ethnicity and race categories. You must also own and actively manage at least 51 percent of your business. Also to qualify, your annual sales should not exceed $20 million and your company should have been in business for at least two years.
Accion is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping small business owners achieve success. With over 60 percent of its borrowers belonging to minority communities, the organization has a minority-oriented funding program.
Accion provides loans to minority-owned businesses in various industries such as construction, manufacturing, retail, restaurants and healthcare. Funds can be used to buy or upgrade equipment, add new health and beauty services, remodel, recruit staff, buy supplies or market products and services.
Loan amounts vary by geography, but generally range from $300-$1,000,000.
To qualify for a loan, you should be at least 18 years of age, have a credit score of 550 or higher and meet some other additional criteria.
SBA Community Advantage Loans
The Community Advantage program has been introduced to meet the credit, management, and technical assistance needs of small businesses in under-served markets. The program provides mission-based lenders access to 7(a) loan guaranties as high as 85 percent for loans up to $250,000.
To qualify, you must meet SBA’s size standards. While you must prove your credit worthiness and the viability of your business idea, this program is not restricted by the size of your balance sheet.
National African American Small Business Loan Fund
The National African American Small Business Loan Fund is a program for African American-owned small businesses based in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City. Offered by The Valley Economic Development Center and JPMorgan Chase, this program offers loans in the range of $35,000 and $250,000.
Funds can be used as capital to expand, buy or finance equipment, meet short-term cash flow needs and provide contractor lines of credit.
To qualify, you need to first complete an online application where you’ll have to provide some basic information about your business and fund needs.
Balboa Capital – Hispanic Small Business Loans
Balboa Capital offers easy business loan options for Hispanic firms. The loan program offers fast and convenient access to funds and boasts a high approval rate. Loans up to $150,000 with basic information are up for grabs. The fund also offers up to $1 million with a full financial package.
You can use the company’s free business loan calculator to get an instant quote and submit your application on its website.
Black Business Loan Fund
The Black Business Loan Fund (BBLF) offers loans to African American-owned businesses based in Seminole, Osceola, Orange and Lake counties in the state of Florida. Two types of loans are available to businesses: direct loans of up to $100,000 and loan guarantees of up to $100,000.
To qualify, at least 51 percent of your business should be African American owned. It should have been in operations for a minimum of two years and in a position to create jobs.
The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians
The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) revolving loan fund is aimed at providing funds and technical support to native American-owned businesses for the purposes of relocation, expansion or startup.
The maximum loan amount is typically $125,000, although in certain cases more is available. Terms of the loans range up to 10 years. Funds can be used to buy inventory, equipment, remodel, or as working capital.
To qualify, you need to contact Mike Burton and discuss your business proposal. If your application meets ATNI’s lending criteria or community benefit goals, you will be required to submit a completed application.
Business & Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program
While not exclusively aimed at minority borrowers, the Business & Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program provides a government guarantee to lenders for their loans to businesses based in rural communities — and this includes for Federally recognized tribal groups. The program seeks to improve, develop or finance in the rural parts of the United States.
Funds can be used to buy equipment or inventory, repair or modernize business, and for debt refinancing, to name a few.
To qualify, you should be a cooperative organization, corporation, partnership or other legal entity organized and operated on a profit or nonprofit basis; an Indian tribe on a Federal or State reservation or other Federally recognized tribal group; a public body; or an individual.
You can find the B&I Program applications here.
Latino Economic Development Center
The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) offers loan assistance to small and mid-sized businesses based in Minnesota. There are four loan products to choose from: microenterprise (to start or expand a business), community real estate development opportunities (to purchase or improve real estate by growing business), cooperative (to start or expand a cooperative enterprise), and co-op member share loan (to finance the purchase of a share in a co-op by an existing or proposed co-op member).
To apply, you can download LEDC’s loan application here (PDF). Some of the documents you are required to submit include a business plan covering information regarding your business, last three years’ tax returns for corporations and partnerships, monthly cash flow projections for one year, and quarterly for second and third year, among others.
Energy and Mineral Development Program
The Energy and Mineral Development Program is designed to provide funds to Federally recognized tribes to perform technical evaluations of the energy and mineral resource potential of Indian reservations. In a nutshell, it is aimed at providing funding to both tribes and individual mineral owners to use resources on Indian lands.
The program is for federally recognized Indian tribes and individual American Indian mineral owner.
Bank Meeting Photo via Shutterstock