Access to Capital

The KC Chamber is working to address and break down systemic barriers to economic growth in our historically underrepresented communities by assisting minority-owned businesses with planning and practices to improve access to capital and supporting area lenders with strategies to improve lending to small minority-owned businesses. This work is just beginning, but together with our strategic partners, we’ll be working to change the status quo for a more inclusive future.

Kansas City Credit Enhancement Fund

The Kansas City Credit Enhancement Fund (“Fund”) and its loan loss reserve program create greater access to capital for small businesses in the Kansas City metro area by providing incentives for banks, CDFIs, and other lending institutions to invest in businesses owned and operated by entrepreneurs in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, especially those who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (“BIPOC”).

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is launching the Fund in collaboration with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and LOCUS Impact Investing, a national nonprofit consulting and advisory organization that will manage the Fund.  Kansas City-area banks are encouraged to participate in this program.

For more information about the Fund, its loan loss reserve program and how your lending institution can participate, please contact Jeremiah Houle at LOCUS, send an email to jeremiah@locusimpactinvesting.org.

Inclusive Cultural Competency Experience

The Inclusive Cultural Competency Experience is designed by bankers, for bankers to create a learning experience where professionals can think critically about their industry, their respective organizations, and most importantly, themselves. The program has been guided by 2021 data about minority lending in the Kansas City region and will address practices, structures and systems that have stifled growth in underserved and underbanked communities.

Urban Financial Services Coalition (UFSC) along with its many partners will provide this comprehensive program that will create a safe place to discuss and share best practices regarding access to capital in underserved communities. The program will identify and tackle barriers that exist in small business lending, enhance collaboration with regulatory partners, and create tangible results to spur economic progress.

For more information, please contact Theodis Watson of Urban Financial Services Coalition at UFSCinclusivetraining@gmail.com. Visit www.ufscnet.org  or www.ufsckansascity.org to learn more about the UFSC.

Lenders’ Forums: Capital Connections

The KC Chamber’s Lenders’ Forum meets every two months to connect bankers and minority businesses.  Minority business leaders pitch their companies, answer questions about their businesses, and get feedback from lenders. The goal is to build banking relationships and increase lending in Low & Moderate Income (LMI) communities. Each Lenders’ Forum is held in partnership with a regional Entrepreneurial Support Organization (ESO).

Capital Connections has the same goal of connection but in a less formal setting with an evening of networking between lenders and minority business owners.  The Capital Connections receptions are held three times a year in notable venues in LMI communities on both sides of the state line.

For more information about upcoming Lenders’ Forums or Capital Connections and to make sure your lending institution is included, please contact Ashley Johnson at the KC Chamber, ajohnson@kcchamber.com.

Loan Packaging Training and Support Specially Designed for Entrepreneurial Support Organizations

Lending institutions and area ESOs have counseled that small business technical assistance providers need a strong understanding of what banks are looking for in a loan package and how to prepare their clients to meet with lenders. That’s where the KC Chamber’s Loan Packaging Training and Support comes in. It’s a new initiative that will bring banks and ESOs together so that ESOs know how to meet the banks’ underwriting criteria and what additional support is available in the community. The goal is to help ESOs deliver consistently high-quality loan packages and understand the minimum criteria necessary for banks to underwrite loans to small businesses. It will also help ESOs stay current on new loan programs at area banks.

For more information about Loan Packaging Training and Support, please contact Ashley Johnson at the KC Chamber, ajohnson@kcchamber.com.

In Partnership With