NOLAN FINLEY

Finley: Loans to help diversify city’s comeback

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

Access to capital is a challenge for any small entrepreneur, but particularly for minorities, who often have fewer personal resources to draw on and a smaller network of potential funders in their circle of family and friends.

That’s one of the reasons African-American participation in downtown Detroit’s rebound hasn’t been as robust as it should be, given the city’s demographics.

A new loan program backed by JPMorgan Chase, the W.K. Kellogg foundation and the Detroit Development Fund aims to change that with a $6.5 million fund targeted toward minority small businesses.

The Entrepreneurs of Color fund will make loans ranging from $50,000 to $150,000. As important as the money, the fund will also provide recipients with business advice and technical assistance — again, things minority start-ups have less access to.

Rebuilding Detroit’s small business base, particular in its neighborhoods, is a critical step in reviving the city. This fund should help the entrepreneurs who live in Detroit invest and grow in Detroit.