SOAR fund helping minority-owned businesses in the south to rebound

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Posted at 7:39 AM, Apr 13, 2021

Paycheck protection loans have helped small businesses cover expenses during the pandemic. But now there's a need to get more credit access to businesses to help them with their long-term recovery.

"An equitable recovery is going to be required to a concerted effort and investment and time and capital to make sure these underserved businesses and communities get the capital they need to survive and become more resilient and move forward with the business plan," James H. Bason, President and CEO of TruFund said.

That's why a new fund called the Southern Opportunity and Resilience Fund (SOAR) is launching at the end of this month.

This fund will focus on the south. They want to make sure the Black, Hispanic and Native American communities in the south are getting the help they need for their businesses.

The people behind the fund say they are trying to address the economic inequities that exist in the south and in the banking industry.

"We are seeing certainly interest from local small businesses who know that once all these relief dollars run out there's not going to be a place for them to turn," Beth Bafford, VP of Syndications and Strategy at Calvert Impact Capital said. "And if they are going online or searching for access to credit, often the options are very limited or very expensive."

The SOAR fund is for small businesses and nonprofits from Texas to Delaware with 50 or fewer full-time employees. The people behind the fund say if it works in the south, they could expand it to other areas of the country in the future.

13 community development financial institutions are participating in the fund to process the loans.

They are not forgivable like PPP loans but are available at a low cost to business owners.

For more information and to apply, click here.