BMO Harris Bank Nears $20 Million Milestone for Black and Latinx Small Business Lending Program
BMO Harris Bank announced today that the BMO for Black and Latinx Small Business Program has topped nearly $20 million in loan authorizations since it first became available last September in all markets where BMO Harris operates branches. Since the inception of the program, more than 2,000 applications from Black and Latinx business owners have been received and approximately 600 applicants have received approval and funding. BMO for Black and LatinX Small Businesses is part of BMO EMpower, a $5 billion commitment over five years that was created to address key barriers faced by underserved businesses, communities, and families in the United States.
“The response to this program has been inspiring,” said Niamh Kristufek, Head of U.S. Business Banking at BMO Harris Bank. “With COVID-19 and inflation continuing to pose barriers that impact Black & Latinx businesses, we know that increasing their access to capital and other resources is critical. We’re committed to offering opportunities for recovery and growth for Black and Latinx small businesses and supporting their endeavors – both through expanded credit considerations and through education and advice.”
BMO for Black and Latinx Businesses provides customers with educational resources and planning tools to help their businesses become more resilient and scalable. The program includes:
- Access to Capital: Business owners get better access to working capital with expanded credit criteria and competitive interest rates. Small businesses are able to get a revolving line of credit, and/or business credit card that will allow them to only pay interest on what they borrow. They can also qualify for rate discounts when setting up automatic payments from a BMO Harris Business Checking account.
- Access to Education: Free access to practical tools, templates, webinars, and coaching to help business owners make real financial progress.
- Access to Partnerships: BMO is continually forming new partnerships with organizations to give business owners access to meaningful networks, additional coaching and educational resources, and alternative funding sources.
“Access to capital provided the company with a gift to shift during the pandemic,” said Marseil Jackson, owner of Dream Team Enterprises and participant in BMO for Black and Latinx Small Businesses. “As a medical supply company, we were able to shift to the distribution of PPE supplies which allowed the company to operate successfully. The BMO for Black and Latinx Business program is what I and other minority businesses needed to help sustain and even grow our business.”
During February and March, Black and LatinX business owners will be able to use “Coach in Your Corner,” a new pilot feature launching on the Black and LatinX and Women in Business webpages. When it debuts, small business owners will be able to connect with a banker for financial guidance on a variety of topics.
For more information on BMO for Black and Latinx Businesses, visit bmoharris.com/blackandlatinx.