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Bank of America Launches Platform for Small Businesses and CDFIs

Bank of America

Bank of America launched an online platform that connects small business owners with community development financial institutions (CDFIs).

The new Access to Capital Connector enables small business applicants to answer questions to become pre-qualified and then connected with the platform participants that can best meet their needs, the bank said in a Wednesday (March 27) press release.

More than 150 CDFIs and other support organizations participate on the platform, offering capital and other resources for small businesses, according to the release.

The platform was created in collaboration with Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), a nonprofit CDFI and longtime Bank of America partner, the release said.

“When small businesses have access to responsible capital and other resources, they create jobs, grow wealth and provide critical services for communities,” Patrick Davis, senior vice president of platform at technology services at CRF, said in the release.

Sharon Miller, president of small business at Bank of America, said in the release: “Thousands of small businesses fail each year because they lack the connections, resources and funding to continue operating. Through this longstanding partnership, we aim to help make connections stronger between startups, entrepreneurs and funding partners to fuel new ideas, jobs and economic value.”

The new Access to Capital Connector builds upon the Bank of America Access to Capital Directory series, which offers a variety of capital sources, according to the release. Launched in 2021, that platform has more than 25,000 users.

In another effort to help small businesses, Walmart teamed up with Citi in February 2023 to improve working capital access for the retailer’s network of small suppliers.

That collaboration brought the Bridge built by Citi lending platform to Walmart’s roughly 10,000 U.S. suppliers that fall into the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) range, offering loans of up to $10 million.

In April 2022, Wells Fargo launched a Small Business Resource Navigator, which lets small business owners complete brief questionnaires online and then connect with appropriate CDFIs.

“[CDFIs] are an important part of our financial ecosystem embedded in communities across America providing small businesses in need with capital and other assistance they may not otherwise qualify for through traditional financing,” Wells Fargo said at the time.

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