Lending to Small Minority Owned Businesses Bolstered by Cuyahoga County Commitment to New Loan Loss Reserve Fund

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Miranda Kortan: (216) 698-2546; mkortan@cuyahogacounty.us 

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH - Cuyahoga County has committed a $230,000 loan loss guarantee to the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, through its financial arm, UBIZ Venture Capital, to leverage a $1 million capital injection from JumpStart. This fresh injection of capital will support ongoing Capital Access Fund lending to small minority owned businesses. The loan loss guarantee extends Cuyahoga County’s ongoing commitment to support small businesses before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Capital Access initiative is a partnership between Cuyahoga County and the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, with support and assistance from other economic development support organizations, to provide critically needed loan funding to small minority owned businesses throughout Cuyahoga County.

“Our commitment to the Capital Access Fund is part of our ongoing efforts to bring tangible solutions to disparities in small business lending for African Americans and other minority small businesses,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “We are proud to continue our collaborative relationship with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland as we work to offer long-term, sustainable solutions for Cuyahoga County’s Black and other minority entrepreneurs pursuing capital.”

The first round of Capital Access funding, leveraged by loan loss guarantees from the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, provided $4,092,460 to 27 small businesses, with 15 in the City of Cleveland and 12 in suburbs. These loans created or retained 400 jobs.

For the initial phase, Cuyahoga County provided a $50,000 loan loss reserve commitment to the Capital Access Fund. Since the fund’s inception in 2016, no default claims have been required from the reserve.

“We are very grateful to the Cuyahoga County Administration and County Council for this historic act in helping to make it possible for us to launch the UBIZ loan fund. The loan loss provision from the County is a show of confidence for our fund and a tangible action in helping Black and brown businesses during this difficult time,” said Michael Obi, President of the UBIZ Venture Capital.

“We strongly believe in and support the Urban League of Greater Cleveland’s work and the creation of the UBIZ fund to support Black and brown-owned small businesses,” said Lamont Mackley, JumpStart’s Chief Inclusion and Outreach Officer. “Access to capital is crucial for these businesses, especially right now as they have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.”

About the UBIZ Venture Capital:
The UBIZ Venture Capital (UBIZ) is a vehicle that has been strategically established with the full support of the Urban League of Greater Cleveland’s (ULGC) board of directors to bring tangible solutions to disparities in small business lending for African Americans and other minorities. UBIZ loan fund is a three-part program offering Applicants: 1) pre-loan counseling, mentoring, and coaching; 2) properly structured financing designed to meet the needs and capacity of the Applicant; and, 3) post-loan counseling and technical assistance for as long as the Applicant is a borrower.

About JumpStart Inc.
JumpStart is a nationally recognized investing, entrepreneurial support and economic development organization dedicated to unlocking the full potential of diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs to economically transform entire communities. For more information, visit jumpstartinc.org.