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    << See All News Stories

    New Capital Access Fund — Building Inclusion into Community Wealth

    The City of Cleveland partnered with the National Development Council (NDC), the Urban League of Greater Cleveland (ULGC), the National Urban League’s Urban Empowerment Fund (UEF), Cuyahoga County, Morgan Stanley and other private local lenders and foundations to help African American and other minority businesses gain access to capital and technical assistance.

    The Capital Access Fund of Greater Cleveland (CAF), an $8 million fund  was created by this unique collaborative of organizations and institutions with a simple long term goal, to sustain existing and create additional viable minority small businesses that create jobs for community residents and build community wealth. As the American economy moves forward, the City seeks to partner with other economic and community focused institutions to make sure no one is left behind.

    CAF is a three-year program provides minority businesses with low interest loans from $10,000 to $2 million with terms and conditions that are flexible and patient. Uses of funds include fixed asset acquisition, working capital, and restructuring of debt to better match assets and liabilities. Borrowers will be required to participate in pre and post loan counseling with the goal of providing companies access to expert support and coaching throughout their growth process.

    The fund was launched December 1st, 2016. With a goal of creating or maintaining a minimum of 300 jobs within three years, CAF already has completed 8 loans totaling $1.4 million helping to create or maintain 70 local jobs.

    “As an experienced lender, we focus on providing capital to minority and women owned businesses, as well as to economically disadvantaged communities. NDC understands that a set of flexible financing tools and technical guidance throughout the life of the loan can be the difference between success and failure,” said Robert W. Davenport, President of NDC. “With the expertise of the CAF Collaborative and results shown thus far in Cleveland, ultimately we hope to change small lending opportunities in other cities around the country – ensuring African American and other minority small businesses secure access to much needed capital.”

    “Small business creation and retention is a priority for my administration,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “We’re all about jobs, good jobs, throughout the county. With the Grow Cuyahoga Fund, Cuyahoga County’s partnership in the CAF program allows us to continue to lead the way as a place to grow and thrive for African American and other minority businesses which will help ensure our county remains a vibrant, healthy and welcoming place.”

    If you wish to know more about the initiative, please contact one of the partnering organizations for more information.

                                      Angela Butler
                                      Senior Vice President, NDC
                                      (216) 303-7173

                                           Michael R. Elliott
                                           Program Manager, City of Cleveland
                                           (216) 664-4470


                   N. Michael Obi
                   Strategic Consultant, ULGC
                   (440) 212-2567

    The City of Cleveland has been noted previously for embracing policies and programs to build community wealth. The Democracy Collaborative profiled Cleveland as one of ten cities having innovative municipal policies to this end. Read more.