DENVER, Feb. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Greenline Ventures announced today the launch of its $20 million Small Business Capital Fund (SBCF) to deliver much-needed financing to underserved small businesses nationwide. The fund will provide loans between $250,000 and $2,000,000 to small businesses, creating positive economic and social outcomes in their communities. Targeted objectives include job creation or retention, training programs, enhanced benefits packages, minority or women-ownership, reductions in environmental impacts and other forms of assistance to low-income workers.
"Small businesses continue struggling to access the capital required to effectively operate and grow – particularly businesses located in low-income communities," said Patrick Vahey, President of Greenline Ventures. "This fund will provide equity-like financing at very favorable rates and terms for eligible businesses to facilitate growth and expansion, thus stimulating economic development and job growth in underserved communities."
Post-recession trends of bank consolidation, risk aversion and increased cost of doing business have exacerbated the difficulties for small businesses to access traditional loans and financial services. This struggle is further compounded for women, veteran, and minority business owners. Greenline's SBCF will fill this gap by providing affordable, flexible capital, alongside technical assistance, to enable small businesses to sustain themselves, grow, hire, and contribute to their local economies. To accomplish this, SBCF is leveraging New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) with private, mission-driven capital to enable shorter-term loans with substantially lower interest rates, lower fees and more flexible terms and conditions than available in the traditional marketplace.
Having closed over $2 billion of NMTC investments to date, Greenline has a long and successful track record of investing in low-income communities. Both the NMTC program and Greenline's investments have received strong support from a variety of local and national leaders.
"I have witnessed the positive impact of the NMTC program as well as Greenline's investments and am pleased with the announcement of this fund," Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. "Access to capital is critical to the success of small businesses and I am very supportive of new and innovative ways of leveraging private sector capital to stimulate job growth in underserved communities in Denver."
Greenline, headquartered in Denver, CO, is managing the fund and is responsible for originating and servicing the loans. Greenline co-invested in the debt capital for the fund and contributed a portion of its NMTC allocation. The NMTC equity investor is U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, based in St. Louis, MO, and the debt capital is being provided to the fund by a group of mission-driven investors led by Calvert Foundation, based in Bethesda, MD. The NMTC program is a federal tax credit program administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to attract private investment dollars to low-income communities.
"Greenline Ventures' SBCF is making important and innovative strides in financing for underserved small businesses. In this uncertain economic climate, it is vital that we continue channeling much needed capital to local businesses that are creating jobs and fostering growth. Since 1995 Calvert Foundation has championed small business, and we are excited to continue this work by supporting this new fund," said Beth Bafford, an Investment Director at Calvert Foundation.
"Small businesses seeking capital to expand will have increased access to investment thanks to this loan fund. USBCDC is proud to support this work to help erase the barriers to capital, which will create communities that will benefit greatly from growing businesses and the new jobs and economic vitality they will generate," said Maria Bustria-Glickman, vice president of U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation.
About Greenline Ventures Greenline Ventures is a minority-controlled and employee-owned investment management firm that specializes in delivering capital to businesses and communities that are underserved by traditional capital providers. Greenline is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and has received $547 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation authority from the US Department of the Treasury. To date, Greenline has invested over $2 billion in low-income communities nationwide. For more information about Greenline, please visit www.greenlineventures.com.
About Calvert Foundation Calvert Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit impact investing organization. For over 20 years Calvert Foundation has enabled people to invest for social good through the Community Investment Note®. The Note is a fixed income security available to all types of investors. The capital raised through the Note is used to make loans to non-profits and social enterprises throughout the U.S. and around the world that create measurable social and environmental impact. www.calvertfoundation.org
About U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation With $22.6 billion in managed assets as of Dec. 31, 2016, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, provides innovative financing solutions for community development projects across the country using state and federally sponsored tax credit programs. USBCDC's commitments provide capital investment to areas that need it the most and have contributed to the creation of new jobs, the rehabilitation of historic buildings, the construction of needed affordable and market-rate homes, the development of renewable energy facilities, and the generation of commercial economic activity in underserved communities. Visit USBCDC on the web at www.usbank.com/cdc.