Bank of America has announced the launch of a Small Business Down Payment Grant Program to drive business growth and help create generational wealth opportunities for minority and women business owners.
The program with launch in select markets—including Los Angeles—with plans to expand in 2023, extending credit to historically disadvantaged small business borrowers and providing support to make purchasing commercial real estate more affordable.
“Today, many business owners of diverse backgrounds lack the access to capital and technical assistance needed to qualify for commercial loans, which can help secure transferable assets that build equity across generations,” said Jill Calabrese Bain, Small Business Integration and Transformation executive at Bank of America. “We’re committed to addressing inequalities in business ownership by providing entrepreneurs with the access to expertise, resources and capital necessary to achieve their financial goals.”
The program will be available for eligible women and minority business owners applying for Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 and 7(a) commercial real estate loans. Commercial real estate properties must be based in Opportunity Zones in Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas and Los Angeles, as defined by the U.S. Treasury. Eligible business owners can apply for down payment grants, covering up to 50% of required injection (capped at $25,000).
Program eligibility requirements also necessitate 51% women or minority business ownership and owner occupancy, and a 5% minimum down payment from the applicant. Additionally, Bank of America small business specialists will team up with local small business-centric non-profit partners to provide financial education services.
The program is the latest of many resources the company has committed to helping small business owners in local communities, including a Secured Business Advantage Credit offering a credit line from $1,000 to $50,000 to business owners; a comprehensive database designed to help women and minority entrepreneurs learn more about navigating the capital landscape and identify potential sources of funding; and an educational hub providing tips and solutions for all aspects of business ownership, covering topics such as business strategy, customer relations, financing options, optimizing operations and managing cash flow.