The fund supporting Veteran-Owned Small Businesses expands
AUSTIN, Texas – The Veteran Loan Fund announced that in its first year of operations, its members have deployed more than $15 million across the country, helping 231 businesses create or retain close to 1,200 jobs. 60% of the business owners receiving financial and technical assistance were people of color, 50% low or moderate income and 30% women. These impressive statistics show the importance of the work that this group of CDFIs and their technical assistance partners do, serving those who served for all of us.
“PeopleFund is proud to serve as one of the mission-focused lenders in the Veteran Loan Fund. In the first year of this initiative, 20% of the lending activity of the group took place in Texas.” said Gustavo Lasala, President and CEO of PeopleFund “Veterans put themselves on the line protecting all of us, regardless of background, color, creed, or political affiliation. We owe it to them, a leveled field to pursue their dreams.”
With two new members joining the Veteran Loan Fund, Appalachian Community Capital and Justine Petersen, the fund is significantly expanding its reach while it prepares to launch its second $25 million round of funding. The upcoming round will provide $25 million in loan capital to small businesses owned by veterans or veteran spouses.
Veterans interested in receiving financial or technical assistance can now complete a simple online assessment at www.veteranloanfund.com to be matched with the CDFI or partner that best meets their needs. Eligible entrepreneurs can apply for a low-interest loan with their matched lender. These loans are designed to help early-stage veteran entrepreneurs start or grow their business. Participants in this program can also access free technical assistance (specialized business coaching and education) tailored to their needs whether or not they receive financial assistance anywhere in the country.
Jus’ A Cup is a startup café and coffee shop in rural Sanger, TX. The company is owned by Kalita McKinney, an African American, woman, and disabled US Army veteran. Kalita is a certified project manager who is bringing her professional background to revitalize her town by renovating an old commercial space and offering new services. Through her PeopleFund loan, she was able to remodel her commercial space and purchase the equipment needed to begin operations.
Thank you to the Veteran Loan Fund’s partners and investors that who made this possible, including Bank of America as lead investor and Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Northern Trust, Siemens Foundation, and Tawani Foundation.
For more information on the Veteran Loan Fund, please visit www.veteranloanfund.com.
About the Veteran Loan Fund:
Veteran Loan Fund is a collaborative effort of a national group of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) with the mission to help underserved veterans and their spouses start and grow small businesses. The fund provides a specialized source of capital and a forum to share best practices and conduct advocacy efforts for lenders to originate loans and grow their local veteran programs.
Specialized technical assistance partners include Bunker Labs, Vet Met, Vet to CEO, the Institute for Veterans & Military Families, as well as local partnerships with Veteran Business Outreach Centers, SCORE and SBDCs. Member CDFIs include Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (GA), Appalachian Community Capital (VA), Black Business Investment Fund (FLA), Business Impact Northwest (WA), Colorado Enterprise Fund (CO), DreamSpring (NM), Economic and Community Development Institute (OH), Justine Petersen (MO), Pathway Lending (TN), PeopleFund (TX), Pursuit (NJ), and Wisconsin Women Business Initiative Corporation (WI).
To learn more about The Veteran Loan Fund, please visit https://www.veteranloanfund.com.
PeopleFund is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), an SBA lender and serves as the managing member of the Veteran Loan Fund. Established in 1994, PeopleFund has almost 30 years of experience helping thousands on the path to financial security. PeopleFund programs focus on advancing economic opportunities for people of color, veterans, women, and individuals of low to moderate income by providing capital, training and other resources needed to grow a healthy small business. Since inception, PeopleFund has delivered almost $200 million in financial assistance to over 4,650 small businesses and $150 million in New Market Tax Credit allocations that attracted $750 million in investments—putting the direct impact in the Texas economy as approaching $1 billion. PeopleFund has also helped create and retain 20,000 jobs and delivered over 130,000 hours of business education.
To learn more about PeopleFund please visit peoplefund.org.
Jenny Palecek, PeopleFund
SVP of Philanthropic Partnerships