Bank of America today announced the launch of a Small Business Down Payment Grant Program to drive business growth and help create generational wealth opportunities for minority and women business owners.
Launching in select markets with plans to expand in 2023, the program will extend credit to historically disadvantaged small business borrowers and provide support to make purchasing commercial real estate more affordable.
“Today, many business owners of diverse backgrounds lack the access to capital and technical assistance needed to qualify for commercial loans, which can help secure transferable assets that build equity across generations,” said Jill Calabrese Bain, Small Business Integration and Transformation executive at Bank of America. “We’re committed to addressing inequalities in business ownership by providing entrepreneurs with the access to expertise, resources and capital necessary to achieve their financial goals.”
The program will be available for eligible women and minority business owners applying for Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 and 7(a) commercial real estate loans. Commercial real estate properties must be based in Opportunity Zones in Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas and Los Angeles, as defined by the U.S. Treasury. Eligible business owners can apply for down payment grants, covering up to 50% of required injection (capped at $25,000).
Program eligibility requirements also necessitate 51% women or minority business ownership and owner occupancy, and a 5% minimum down payment from the applicant. Additionally, Bank of America small business specialists will team up with local small business-centric non-profit partners to provide financial education services.
Bank of America is committed to helping small business owners in local communities across the country through numerous resources beyond the Small Business Down Payment Grant Program, including:
- Secured Credit Offerings: The previously announced Bank of America Secured Business Advantage Credit Line launched last week, offering a credit line from $1,000 to $50,000 to business owners. Earlier this year, Bank of America also debuted the Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard® Secured credit card as a new tool to help business owners establish, strengthen or rebuild their business credit – all while providing cardholders with the benefits that matter most to their business. The credit line ranges from $1,000 to $10,000, earning unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- Access to Capital Directory: A comprehensive database designed in partnership with Seneca Women to help women and minority entrepreneurs learn more about navigating the capital landscape and identifying potential sources of funding, such as equity, debt and grant capital.
- Start a Business Center: A resource for consolidated content to help potential and new business owners learn how to start or grow their business. The digital experience offers resources such as business plan templates, partners for critical services and access to Bank of America Small Business specialists. Clients can utilize tips and considerations on topics such as writing a business plan, business legal structures, marketing strategy and business financing options.
- Small Business Resources: As part of Bank of America’s ongoing commitment to support our small business clients and their financial priorities, we continue to broaden our digital educational content. The site features tools, insights, and expert advice to help entrepreneurs run and grow their businesses. The educational hub provides tips and solutions for all aspects of business ownership, covering topics including business strategy, customer relations, financing options, optimizing operations, managing cash flow and more.
In related news, Bank of America also announced today it is offering a zero down payment, zero closing cost mortgage solution in select markets. The new Community Affordable Loan Solution™ aims to help eligible individuals and families obtain an affordable loan to purchase a home. It is now available to first-time homebuyers purchasing in select Black/African American and/or Hispanic-Latino neighborhoods in Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Miami. This new program complements the existing $15 billion Bank of America Community Homeownership Commitment,™ which provides affordable mortgages, grants and educational opportunities with the goal of helping 60,000 low-to-moderate income individuals and families into affordable homes by 2025.