$7.5 Million Loan Fund aims to help local minority-led businesses and small businesses grow

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – In an effort to grow and strengthen Chattanooga’s small and minority-led businesses and those that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pathway Lending is launching a new $7.5 million loan fund that will support economic growth and recovery.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of a community. Typically entrepreneurs start a business by using home wealth – equity out of their home. In a lot of minority communities they don’t have a lot of home equity so they start a little behind the 8 ball.  This allows us to come in with a higher risk capital than a traditional bank can offer to be able to help them move those opportunities forward and move that business forward,” says Clint Gwen, President and CEO of Pathway Lending. 

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The new Chattanooga Small Business Opportunity Fund aims to improve access to capital for underserved local area businesses.

“A robust, resilient economy is a diverse economy. It’s different types of businesses , folks who don’t all look the same and that come from many different walks of life. As Chattanooga is growing we need to have more resources,” says Charlie Brock, Local Business owner and Investor. 

Small business owner Brandon Ellis is one of the first businesses to take advantage of this new loan program.

His loan allowed him to purchase a new truck to help pull his Mobile restaurant; giving him the opportunity to generate more revenue. 

“It’s huge to stay open, it’s a daily task to stay open. You see a lot of businesses that are closing down and not being able to open their full schedule. I just want to continue to beat those odds. I employ people in the community and essentially my business is responsible for taking care of their household,” says Brandon Ellis, Owner of the Chatter Box. 

For more information about how your small business could receive financial help click here. It could help keep your small business in the game.