As part of the union of companies creating funds to assist Black businesses impacted by COVID-19, Comerica Bank is making a move to pledge $1 million over the next four years to the National Business League.
According to a press release, the Dallas-based bank’s commitment is a part of a national partnership called the Black Capital Access Program, an “initiative to support Black businesses across the country.”
Comerica Bank is proud to announce its $1 million commitment to the @NBL1900 as part of a national partnership that will launch the Black Capital Access Program that will help support Black-owned small businesses. https://t.co/klKf8kQM2B #ComericaCares #RaisingExpectations pic.twitter.com/ouHPbgq4nL
— Comerica Bank (@ComericaBank) June 19, 2020
The new program — described as being a “one-stop online platform for Black-owned businesses” — is set to pilot over the next three months and will touch its five primary markets in Texas, Arizona, California, Florida, and Michigan, the press release states.
It will also provide small Black businesses with a variety of services including access to a capital toolkit, technical services, financial planning information, webinars, and more, according to the bank.
“Small businesses face a myriad of inherent challenges to open their doors and remain viable, and the current conditions due to COVID-19 only deepened those issues especially among African American business owners,” said Chairman and CEO of Comerica Bank, Curt Farmer, in a press release.
As Comerica launches this new program, the National Business League is also fighting to defend legislation and policy to promote the growth of Black businesses.
The organization is finding different ways in which they can solve business challenges in the marketplace and advance Black communities’ economic interest.
“Capital access remains the most important factor limiting the establishment, expansion and growth of Black-owned businesses,” said Ken L. Harris, Ph.D., President/CEO National Business League, Inc. in the press release. “As part of the organization’s mission to eliminate institutional, structural and systemic barriers to capital, it is important to develop public and private partnerships to address the financial burden on Black entrepreneurs who are trying to keep their businesses thriving in today’s economy, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The new program supported by Comerica also aims to guarantee Black businesses will be able to create and grow sustainable enterprises that will be able to survive the economy.
“We believe strongly that investing financially as well as connecting our team members to offer a wide range of technical resources will enable the NBL’s Black Capital Access Program to effectively reach and serve businesses in need,” said Irvin Ashford, Jr., Chief Community Officer, Comerica Bank. “We proudly support the 120-year mission of the National Business League and its mission to deliver critical services to Black-owned businesses.”