Applications for up to $250K in Growth Capital open through June 3
LOS ANGELES – With a $20 million donation from Wells Fargo announced in February, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Los Angeles (LISC LA) has launched the Asset Building for Communities of Color (ABC) Program to help bring accessible capital to diverse small businesses in Los Angeles County.
Los Angeles is the largest small business ecosystem in the country, but people of color-owned businesses are not represented at the same rate as Whites. Lack of access to capital is a key factor limiting the establishment, expansion, and growth of diverse businesses. As part of LISC LA’s commitment to closing this opportunity gap, the ABC Program will invest directly in diverse businesses and startups across the county, providing flexible capital and technical assistance that is often inaccessible and yet crucial to grow, scale, create jobs, and fuel wealth creation.
Starting today through June 3, startup small businesses can apply for ABC’s Growth Capital—recoverable grants up to $250,000 to purchase key assets for their business, including machinery, equipment, new or updated technology, inventory, and the costs of leasehold improvements. Recoverable grants have no interest, no collateral requirements, and can convert to a grant under certain circumstances. Growth Capital is designed to remove barriers to growth that small businesses face when getting started, while creating incentives for meeting certain benchmarks that create quality jobs and benefit the local community. To apply and for the full list of qualifications, visit https://www.lisc.org/los-angeles/abc-fund/.
“The Asset Building for Communities of Color Program will equip startups and small businesses owned by people of color with the funds and tools to grow and thrive in our economy,” said Miranda Rodriguez, LISC LA Deputy Director. “We are grateful for Wells Fargo and our dedicated partners who are building an equitable ecosystem in Los Angeles for BIPOC entrepreneurs.”
In addition to Growth Capital, the ABC Program is offering three other products for LA County businesses. Launched last week, Property Acquisition Assistance will provide eligible small businesses and non-profits with recoverable grants up to $500,000 to buy commercial and mixed-use property for business needs, including office space, and/or retail purposes. Eligible business owners can also apply for a microloan and cash grant offered through LISC LA’s partner, Inclusive Action for the City (IAC). More information about all ABC products can be found at https://www.lisc.org/los-angeles/abc-fund/.
LISC LA has partnered Economic Resources Corporation, Prospoly, CVM Worldwide, List Ventures and Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program to provide tailored technical assistance and ensure that diverse small businesses have the necessary tools to succeed at every stage of business growth.
“Owning commercial property and valuable assets like equipment puts small business owners on a path to growth but it also begins to build generational wealth that can be passed down,” said Jenny Flores, head of small business growth philanthropy for Wells Fargo. “Working with LISC LA and its network, we want to empower more entrepreneurs of color with access to the capital and expertise they need to thrive long-term.”
The ABC Program was made possible thanks to a $20 million donation from Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund, a roughly $420 million national small business recovery effort with a focus on racially and ethnically diverse small business owners who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
For over 40 years, LISC has worked with residents and partners to forge resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. LISC LA’s work has not only supported basic needs for Los Angeles’ diverse communities but has also helped create equitable access to capital and resources for diverse-owned small businesses that are often left behind.
Since 1979, LISC has invested $24 billion to build or rehab 436,320 affordable homes and apartments and develop 77.4 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. LISC LA’s mission is to work with local leaders to invest in housing, health, education, public safety, and employment – these basic needs must be tackled at once so that progress in one is not undermined by neglect in another. For more information, visit https://www.lisc.org/los-angeles/.