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Bank pledges $1 billion in loans to women and minority-led businesses

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In a move TCF Bank says delivers on its recent pledge to “take action for racial equality and social justice,” the Detroit-based company said it would loan $1 billion over the next 5 years to women and minority-led businesses in several cities the bank serves, including Detroit.

At a Thursday morning press conference, TCF Executive Chairman Gary Torgow called the program “audacious in its size and ambition.”

“This means dramatically more access to capital for people and communities long denied their fair share,” Torgow said. “...As the numbers bear out, Black business owners are twice as likely as others to be rejected for loans, and far more likely to be refused full funding. That must stop. And we hope for TCF and its customers, that starts here today.  

The loans, which can be up to $1 million each, will be available in cities “across the banks footprint,” including Grand Rapids and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Asked how much would be available for Detroit, Torgow didn’t specify. 

He also announced the bank would offer an additional $10 million in grants for low and moderate-income home buyers in certain neighborhoods, to cover up to $3,000 in closing costs and downpayments. 

“Black ownership is at a record low level. In some ways, the racial imbalance in home ownership is worse today for Blacks is than it was in 1963, when housing discrimination was still legal,” Torgow said. 

Also at the press conference, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans stressed the need for the loans to be available as quickly as possible. 

“Small businesses have bills due the first of every month. And if you don't have the money to deal with that, then you're going to have significant, significant problems,” Evans said.

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Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health and the COVID-19 pandemic.
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