Detroit Development Fund, a fund focused on disbursing available loans minority-owned small businesses increased to $22 million earlier this year thanks to a $4 million contribution from “Liberty Bank and Trust Company, the third largest African-American owned financial institution in America.”
Liberty Bank joins other high profile banking institutions in their support of minority owned small businesses including JPMorgan Chase ($2 million), the Kellogg Foundation ($2 million), Fifth Third Bank ($3 million) and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation ($2.5 million), with the Kresge Foundation committing a loan guarantee of up to $2 million.
The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund was established in 2015 through a partnership between the Detroit Development Fund, JPMorgan Chase and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Since then, it has provided nearly $6 million in loans and technical assistance to Detroit businesses that employ at least 75 percent people of color, or are owned by people of color, Ray Water, president of the Detroit Development Fund told the Metro Times.
A typical loan from the Detroit Development Fund falls between $50,000 and $200,000. So far, 56 percent of the businesses to receive loans “are owned by minority women and 68 percent are in Detroit neighborhoods – not downtown.”
The new Liberty Bank contribution will help support 12 loans that are expected to close for a total of $1.5 million. In the pipeline, there are currently 18 more promising applications looking for just over $2 million.