Comerica presented BCL of Texas with an additional $50,000 grant in support of its small business technical assistance programming at today’s launch event. Brandon Jones, Comerica Bank North Texas External Affairs Manager; Beatrice Kelly, Comerica Bank Director of Community Development Lending; Rosa Rios Valdez, BCL of Texas President and CEO; Derric Hicks, Comerica Bank South Dallas Business Banking Group Manager and Omar Salah, Comerica Bank Director of Small Business Banking
Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) BCL of Texas will offer loans ranging from $10,000-$75,000 to traditionally underserved businesses. The Dallas Small Business Diversity Fund, a $1 million investment from Comerica Bank, will specifically target Dallas County women and minority-owned businesses with two or more years in operation.
An additional $1 million investment from Comerica will be allocated to BCL’s Growth Fund for larger business loans in its Texas target market.
“We know that many minority businesses are often self-funded due to lack of access to capital, and a key component of our mission is to provide emerging small businesses opportunities to expand their operations,” said Rosa Rios Valdez, BCL of Texas President and CEO. “We want to help level the playing field with this fund.”
Loan applicants must be a minority, woman or veteran business owner located in a rural, redevelopment or low- to moderate-income area. In addition, the Dallas Small Business Diversity Fund includes a strategic coaching component with BCL’s Entrepreneurship Specialists. Prior to completing a loan application, prospective applicants are asked to schedule a financial readiness assessment to ensure they have a strong and organized path to growth. Approved borrowers will receive no-cost business coaching throughout the life of the loan.
“At Comerica, we remain committed to investing in CDFIs with more flexible underwriting and collateral requirements than traditional lending programs,” said Omar Salah, Comerica Bank’s Director of Small Business Banking. “As the leading bank for business, it is imperative that we raise expectations in all the communities we serve by partnering with nonprofits like the BCL of Texas because they are playing an integral role in closing the access to capital gap for minority and women-owned businesses.”
In 2021, Comerica made a three-year, $5 billion small business lending commitment to support communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of June 30, 2022, Comerica has assisted more than 8,600 small businesses and funded $2.4 billion (49% of goal) of the loan commitment.