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New fund announced to help minority businesses get access to capital

Bridgewater Interiors

A new $100 million dollar loan fund will help minority-owned businesses in Detroit.

Louis Green, president of the Michigan Minority Supplier Diversity Council, says access to capital is a big problem for minority companies.

"Minority businesses are more likely to be turned down for loans," says Green. "When they get loans they're at higher interest rates, and in fact, their experience has been so bad in trying to get access to capital that  they're even less likely to apply for access to capital than non-minority businesses."

It's anticipated that most of the loans from the new fund will be in the $1 million range.

"We really want to see and help businesses that make a positive impact on the community," says Green, "and while that's a soft metric, it's really going to guide how we give access to this fund."

The money for the loan fund will come from hedge funds and commercial banks.

Green is leaving as head of the council to become CEO of Supplier Success, a group that seeks to increase venture capital for Detroit-based and minority-owned businesses.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.