" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> U.S. Bank expands lending opportunities for women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses
Thursday, May 30, 2024

U.S. Bank expands lending opportunities for women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses

U.S. Bank is introducing a new Business Diversity Lending Program that will expand the ability of diverse business owners to obtain capital, building upon the bank’s broader efforts to support under-represented businesses and help address the wealth gap.

Through the Business Diversity Lending Program, U.S. Bank will provide credit and financing to help women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses grow and thrive. The program is based on traditional loans and lines of credit at U.S. Bank, allowing for modified credit guidelines that enable more business owners to access the funding they need to run their business.

The U.S. Bank Business Diversity Lending Program is a type of special purpose credit program, or SPCP, permitted by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). These programs are specifically designed to improve access to capital for members of economically disadvantaged classes.

U.S. Bank is launching the Lending Program following last year’s acquisition of MUFG Union Bank. Union Bank was a pioneer in implementing an SPCP for small business, launching their Business Diversity Lending Program around 30 years ago. U.S. Bank is continuing this legacy, with expanded impact across the U.S. Bank footprint.

“The Business Diversity Lending Program is the latest commitment by U.S. Bank to power the potential of all of our customers and help close the wealth gap,” said Sekou Kaalund, Head of Branch and Small Business Banking at U.S. Bank. “Small businesses are the bedrock of the U.S. Economy, and by broadening access to capital we are helping to fuel more business owners’ dreams and drive economic growth. By building stronger women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses we are creating more vibrant communities for everyone.”

The Lending Program aligns with U.S. Bank Access Commitment™, a long-term approach focused on helping communities of color build wealth. The commitment is comprised of multiple initiatives, including a $25 million microbusiness fund focused on businesses owned by women of color, a mortgage program focused on homeownership education and the creation of a Business Access Advisor role that works with minority-owned businesses with a focus on addressing the three most prominent gaps that limit business growth and employment opportunities: information, connections, and capital.

With the Business Diversity Lending Program, U.S. Bank is expanding opportunity for a vital portion of the business community. About 1.24 million or 21.4% of businesses with paid employees in 2020 were women-owned, according to the latest U.S. Census data. In addition, 1.15 million or 19.9% were minority-owned, and 320,864 or 5.6% were veteran-owned.

Under the U.S. Bank program, eligible businesses may qualify for reduced credit score and decreased cash flow coverage requirements on most conventional lending products up to $2.5 million. Businesses are eligible if they are at least 51% owned and operated by one or more individuals who self-identify as a woman, minority, and/or veteran.

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