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‘Small Business Owners Need Access to Capital to Grow Their Businesses’: The Columbus Foundation is Helping Fund Black Businesses in Ohio

A Columbus, Ohio, nonprofit organization is empowering five Black-owned and Black-led businesses with low-interest loans under a new program created to address racial inequities.

The Columbus Foundation’s Equitable Small Business Fund has empowered the following Black-owned businesses: Aventi Enterprises, Embedded Services, The Mezzanine Fund, Our Hospitality Group, and Prospera Advisory Group, The Columbus Dispatch reported. The Columbus Foundation is awarding them loans totaling $2.6 million in Program Related Investments (PRIs).

Photo by Anna Shvets: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-black-blazer-sitting-on-black-office-chair-3727464/

While the foundation did not reveal the amount of the individual loans or the interest rate, the amount loaned would work out to $520,000 per recipient if divided equally, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

What are PRIs?

Program-related investments (PRIs) are investments made by private foundations that give money low-interest or interest-free loans to needy students, high-risk investments in nonprofit low-income housing projects, and low-interest loans to small businesses owned by members of economically disadvantaged groups. 

About the Columbus Foundation’s Equitable Small Business Fund

Since May of this year, the Equitable Small Business Fund has committed $5 million in securing PRIs.

“Small business owners need access to capital to grow their businesses. Yet historically, entrepreneurs of color have faced systemic barriers when trying to secure capital, and they continue to face many of the same barriers today,” Douglas F. Kridler, the foundation’s president and CEO, said in a news release.

About the Businesses

Aventi Enterprises, a small business management consulting firm specializing in assisting emerging CEOs and leaders of nonprofits, is planning to use its loan to distribute smaller loans to women- and minority-owned businesses in Columbus.

Embedded Services is a relatively new, two-person operated minority-owned research and development firm that is software-focused. It plans on furthering its mission — helping companies manage partnerships and sustainable growth through technology.

The Mezzanine Fund is an investment firm in Cleveland specializing in minority-owned, lower-middle-market companies. 

Our Hospitality Group is a restaurant and hospitality group that owns and operates local Black-owned businesses like Marvin’s.

Prospera Advisory Group is a real estate investor that backs loans to smaller business owners and real estate investors throughout the Midwest who do not qualify. 

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