Greenline Ventures launches $20M fund to help underserved small biz

Wednesday February 8, 2017 0 comments Tags: Denver, Greenline Ventures, Patrick Vahey, Michael Hancock, Beth Bafford, Maria Bustria-Glickman

DENVER -- Greenline Ventures today announced the launch of its $20 million Small Business Capital Fund (SBCF) to deliver much-needed financing to underserved small businesses nationwide.greenline-ventures-logo

The fund will provide loans between $250,000 and $2,000,000 to small businesses, creating positive economic and social outcomes in their communities, Greenline said. Targeted objectives include job creation or retention, training programs, enhanced benefits packages, minority or women-ownership, reductions in environmental impacts and other forms of assistance to low-income workers.

“Small businesses continue struggling to access the capital required to effectively operate and grow – particularly businesses located in low-income communities,” said Patrick Vahey, president of Greenline Ventures.

“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. “

Post-recession trends of bank consolidation, risk aversion and increased cost of doing business have exacerbated the difficulties for small businesses to access traditional loans and financial services, Greenline said, especially for  women, veteran and minority business owners.

Greenline said the new fund will fill this gap by providing affordable, flexible capital, alongside technical assistance, to enable small businesses to sustain themselves, grow, hire, and contribute to their local economies. To accomplish this, Greenline’s SBCF is leveraging New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) with private, mission-driven capital to enable shorter-term loans with substantially lower interest rates, lower fees and more flexible terms and conditions than available in the traditional marketplace.

Having closed more than $2 billion of NMTC investments to date, Greenline said it has a long and successful track record of investing in low-income communities. Both the NMTC program and Greenline’s investments have received strong support from a variety of local and national leaders.

“I have witnessed the positive impact of the NMTC program as well as Greenline’s investments and am pleased with the announcement of this fund,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said.

“Access to capital is critical to the success of small businesses and I am very supportive of new and innovative ways of leveraging private sector capital to stimulate job growth in underserved communities in Denver.”

Headquartered in Denver, Greenline is managing the fund and is responsible for originating and servicing the loans. Greenline co-invested in the debt capital for the fund and contributed a portion of its NMTC allocation.

The NMTC equity investor is U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, based in St. Louis, MO, and the debt capital is being provided to the fund by a group of mission-driven investors led by Calvert Foundation, based in Bethesda, MD. The NMTC program is a federal tax credit program administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to attract private investment dollars to low-income communities.

“Greenline Ventures’ SBCF is making important and innovative strides in financing for underserved small businesses,” said Beth Bafford, Calvert Foundation investment director.

“In this uncertain economic climate, it is vital that we continue channeling much needed capital to local businesses that are creating jobs and fostering growth. Since 1995, Calvert Foundation has championed small business, and we are excited to continue this work by supporting this new fund.”

"Small businesses seeking capital to expand will have increased access to investment thanks to this loan fund,” said Maria Bustria-Glickman, VP of U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp.

“USBCDC is proud to support this work to help erase the barriers to capital, which will create communities that will benefit greatly from growing businesses and the new jobs and economic vitality they will generate.”

For more information or to apply for a loan, click here.