BMO Harris launches $5 billion program to help Black and Latino businesses and communities
CHICAGO — BMO Harris is launching a $5 billion initiative to support minority-owned businesses and communities, with a significant investment earmarked for Chicago.The five-year program, announced Tuesday, will increase commercial lending opportunities for Black and Latino businesses, which have been hard-hit during the pandemic. It also will include direct investment in underserved communities through affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization.“We’ve seen the disparate impact that it (COVID-19) has had on communities of color during the economic downturn,” said Eric Smith, a Chicago-b...
Wells Fargo fires workers for allegedly defrauding feds in pandemic loan applications
Wells Fargo has fired as many as 125 workers for allegedly defrauding the Small Business Administration in applications to a pandemic relief loan program.A bank investigation found that some workers had made false representations in applications for relief funds through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program run by the SBA. The funds were sought for the workers personally, and not related to their official duties at the bank, according to the bank.“If we identify additional wrongdoing by employees, we will take appropriate action,” said David Galloreese, Wells Fargo’s human resources head, ...
The Charlotte Observer
Minneapolis-based So Good So You builds a following with juice shots
MINNEAPOLIS — Eric Hall had a candid response to a question about the specialty-food business, So Good So You, that he started with wife Rita Katona.“We would be delighted if everybody in America would exercise and eat well,” Hall said last week. “That also would put us out of business.”The company, based in Minneapolis, makes organic, plant-based fruit and vegetable shots that cost up to $3.99 apiece. They are billed as “packed with probiotics to naturally support the immune and digestive system.”The company is now approaching $12 million in sales after three years of rapid growth that has ma...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Feds target predatory lenders to small business, but Pennsylvania remains a haven for the industry
Last summer, Philadelphia lawyer Shane Heskin told Congress that Pennsylvania has robust laws to prevent consumers from being gouged on loans — but none protecting business owners.“Consumers have laws protecting them from usurious interest rates,” he said. “But for small businesses, those protection laws don’t apply at all.”Heskin defends business owners in court who get quick money from what he argues are deeply predatory “merchant cash advance” lenders. Although he and other industry critics have yet to gain traction among legislators in Harrisburg, warnings hit home when federal regulators ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Commentary: Whither small businesses?
This National Small Business Week (Sept. 20-26) has a somber tone thanks to the 400,000 such businesses we’ve lost since the COVID-19 pandemic began. A survey five years ago found that 80% of small-business owners traded the security of 9-to-5 jobs to pursue their passions, even though many ended up working longer hours. Today, much of that work is being undone.Among the many people in need of help during our recovery from lockdowns and lawlessness are those who brave bankruptcy to chase the American dream, create jobs and keep our neighborhoods vibrant. Like many of you, my McLean, Virginia, ...
Tribune News Service