NCRC Launches Capital Accelerator Program for Business Resource Providers

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) has launched the MicroBiz Capital Accelerator Program (MCAP), a new grant and technical assistance pilot program supporting direct small business resource providers. Applications are now open with a deadline of November 25, 2022.

2021 was a record year of small business formation in the US among Black, Latino and immigrant Americans, with rates of entrepreneurship increasing among all three groups. The economic impact of these businesses can be significant, leading to job growth and increased economic mobility for many. But new business activity is often stifled by weak resource ecosystems at the community level. Small businesses continue to report challenges in accessing capital, particularly for nonemployer firms and microbusinesses (businesses with less than 5 employees and $250,000 in revenue) owned by people of color.

“In the last few years, we’ve seen historic levels of investment to support small business recovery and growth,” said NCRC’s Director of Racial Economic Equity, Joshua Devine. “As communities compete for these resources, it is critical to provide capital acquisition and deployment support for business-support organizations with limited capacity.”

The MCAP program will provide grants ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 for three to six organizations championing innovative capital programs and models designed to support and scale microbusinesses owned by people of color. Innovative capital programs can include business grant programs, microfinance loans or other CDFI-led small-dollar loan programs, revolving loan funds, etc.

MCAP grantees will also receive peer-learning opportunities, training sessions on equitable program design, delivery and implementation, and a technical assistance package to support and expand program scale and impact.

“For more than 20 years NCRC has been advocating for wealth building through entrepreneurship as a small business technical assistance provider,” said Ibijoke Akinbowale, NCRC’s Director of Community Impact. “We are thrilled to expand our grantmaking efforts to support organizations providing assistance to microbusinesses owned by people of color.”

Awardees must be current NCRC members and be able to prove that they are either a 501(c)(3) organization or a U.S. Treasury CDFI Fund certified CDFI. Funds may be granted to organizations that have an existing capital program directly targeting local microbusiness and who serve communities with critical capital access gaps.

All applications are to be submitted online no later than 11:55 pm ET on November 25, 2022.

For more information and to submit an application, visit the MCAP application page.

Requests for technical assistance can be sent to impact@ncrc.org.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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