Bank of America Debuts Small Biz Down Payment Grant Program
When it comes to opening a small business, there are plenty of expenses and capital expenditures to consider. Among them is real estate — which can be one of the most expensive necessities. To help entrepreneurs overcome this obstacle, a well-known bank is introducing a new option.
This week, Bank of America announced that it would be debuting its Small Business Down Payment Grant Program in a bid to increase opportunities for minority and women business owners. Under this program, small business borrowers from historically disadvantaged backgrounds will be extended credit in order to help make purchasing commercial real estate properties easier and more affordable. The new offering will begin launching in select markets now with plans to expand it in 2023.
As B of A’s announcement explains, the Small Business Down Payment Grant Program will be available to eligible women and minority small business owners who apply for Small Business Administration 504 or 7(a) commercial real estate loans. Currently, these properties must be based in “Opportunity Zones” (as defined by the U.S. Treasury Department) of Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, or Los Angeles. Grants will cover up to 50% of the required injection, with a cap of $25,000. A 5% minimum down payment will still be required from applicants.
Announcing the new program, Bank of America’s executive of Small Business Integration and Transformation Jill Calabrese Bain said, “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 generation. 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.”
While the Small Business Down Payment Grant Program is the latest offering from Bank of America, the institution also offers a variety of other products for small business owners. These include the recently-launched Secured Business Advantage Credit Line as well as a secured version of the business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard. Additionally, the bank offers small business resources such as its “Start a Business Center” and more.
Bank of America’s new Down Payment Grant Program continues an encouraging trend that finds major banks as well as small institutions working to provide more equitable options for prospective entrepreneurs. In doing so, these companies are also helping to grow the U.S. economy, which small businesses are such a key part of. While the program may only be available in a few places now, hopefully more small businesses will be able to take advantage of this option in the years ahead.