Providence. October 5, 2017. The Rhode Island Black Business
Association (RIBBA) today announced that their new Microlending Initiative was
approved for an award of $100,000 from Commerce Corporation. The
purpose of the Initiative is to make business loans to minority businesses
throughout Rhode Island. With RIBBA's partners in this lending program -
the RI Indian Council, Farm Fresh and the MET School - RIBBA's lending and
technical assistance services will be extended statewide.
Loans up to $10,000 will be available from RIBBA to minority
micro businesses throughout Rhode Island with special emphasis on businesses
located in cities and towns experiencing multiple areas of high economic
stress: Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, North Providence,
Woonsocket and West Warwick. In partnership with Freedom National Bank,
Navigant Credit Union and Pawtucket Credit Union, RIBBA will provide collateral
support for loans up to $50,000. In keeping with our strategic goals, we
plan to offer special loan programs for minority business enterprises led by
youth and to support farmer's market entrepreneurs.
RIBBA's existing programs remain in place. Funding in the
amount of $95,000 was awarded by the City of Providence CDBG to provide
technical services to minority businesses and funding in the amount of $10,000
was awarded by the City of Pawtucket CDBG to continue RIBBA's current
Collateral Support Program.
RIBBA'S president, Lisa Ranglin declared, "While there has
been improvement over the past few years, minority business owners in Rhode
Island continue to find it difficult to access commercial loans. RIBBA's new
Microlending Initiative will enable small and minority businesses across the
state to access sufficient capital to grow and thrive in place. We at
RIBBA are pleased that the Commerce Corporation recognizes and supports our
position that fostering economic inclusion for minority businesses is key to
economic development in underserved communities."
The RIBBA Microlending Initiative will be open to receive loan
applications by December 1. Interested business owners can call
401-383-1178 for further information.