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New $40 million fund to support small businesses in Charlotte

Nate Hogan, president of the CLT Alliance Foundation, announced a $40 million fund to support small businesses in Charlotte over the next four years.
Elvis Menayese
/
WFAE
Nate Hogan, president of the CLT Alliance Foundation, announced at Shiloh Institutional Baptist Church a $40 million fund to support small businesses in Charlotte.

Organizers of a new fund plan to hand out $40 million in loans to small businesses in Charlotte over the next four years.  The fund concentrates on aiding businesses owned by women and people of color.

The goal of the Charlotte Small Business Growth Fund is to alleviate barriers that keep small businesses from growing. It’s especially designed for businesses that don’t qualify for traditional bank loans because of their credit history, lack of collateral, or they haven’t been around long enough.

The CLT Alliance Foundation helped establish the fund. Its president, Nate Hogan, said the loans will equip businesses with the tools they need to be successful.

“Our hope is that they'll be able to hire people. They'll be able to buy these tools and technology, equipment, supplies, that will help them scale their business in a meaningful way," Hogan said. "We hope that long-term, for some of them, it'll help create generational wealth. They'll have something to leave behind for folks as well.”

Big donors include Bank of America, Truist and Atrium Health. The city of Charlotte is contributing $2 million.

Small business owners can apply for loans ranging between $1,000 and $250,000. The applications are matched with local community development groups like ASPIRE Community Capital, which decide whether to make the loan.

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Elvis Menayese is a Report for America corps member covering issues involving race and equity for WFAE. He previously was a member of the Queens University News Service. Major support for WFAE's Race & Equity Team comes from Novant Health and Wells Fargo.