Denver-based Greenline Ventures is opening up a new fund to help finance small businesses in the U.S.
The company revealed Tuesday (Feb. 7) that it has created a fund to provide SMEs with between $250,000 and $2 million in an effort to support job growth and small business success. The fund will target minority- and women-owned businesses, Greenline added.
“Small businesses continue struggling to access the capital required to effectively operate and grow — particularly businesses located in low-income communities,” said Greenline Ventures President Patrick Vahey in a statement. “This fund will provide equity-like financing at very favorable rates and terms for eligible businesses to facilitate growth and expansion, thus stimulating economic development and job growth in underserved communities.”
The financing will leverage New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), alongside private capital, to provide short-term financing to small businesses with competitive rates and flexible terms, the company said. Its NMTC equity investor is U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation.
Greenline pointed to the retreat of banks in the SME lending space as adding to the struggle for small business owners to access financing.
Greenline’s new fund was announced the same day Biz2Credit released its latest Small Business Lending Index, which found that big banks have actually reached new highs in their small business loan approval rates, topping 24 percent in January. It marks the sixth month in a row that big banks have increased their SME loan approval rates, Biz2Credit noted.
“President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders aim to reduce financial regulation considerably, and this is good news for banks and financial institutions,” said Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora in a statement. “Ever since his election, there has been a great sense of optimism, especially in the banking sector. Expect 2017 to be a strong year for loan originations for big banks.”