The U.S. Small Business Administration signed an agreement yesterday with three minority business groups, sealing a pledge to quadruple lending to African-American business owners, and tripling lending to Hispanic firms by fiscal year 2000.
As part of the agreement, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense and Education Fund are to market the SBA's goals to minority business owners in its networks.
"We have to be forward thinking and find ways to open the door and provide opportunities to Hispanics and African-Americans," said SBA Administrator Aida Alvarez from Washington in a telephone conference call with reporters. "We need infrastructure, which means partnerships."
In fiscal year 1997, which ended Sept. 30, the SBA provided 1,903 loan guarantees valued at $286 million to African-American businesses nationally. By fiscal year 2000, the SBA expects to provide about 9,300 loan guarantees with an estimated value of $1.4 billion.
For the Hispanic business community, the SBA wants to triple lending to about $2.5 billion. In fiscal year 1997, the SBA backed 3,371 loans to Hispanic entrepreneurs.
In the Baltimore SBA district, 620 loans, totaling $120 million, were guaranteed, up from 577 the previous year. A quarter of those were given to minorities, said Allan A. Stephenson, the SBA's Baltimore district director.
Stephenson and the SBA's other district directors are to work with local chapters of the three national groups and jointly develop objectives and timetables for their part in meeting the three-year goal, Alvarez said.
Pub Date: 5/19/98