The past few weeks have brought many revelations and questions to the forefront. Why don’t Black people and other minorities have a larger presence in financing? Why are minority-owned businesses underserved? More importantly, what can the commercial finance sector do to give others a voice and ensure minority-owned businesses can access the financing they need?
Awareness is a good place to start
In our last article, we pointed to facts showing why even successful Black and minority-owned businesses historically do not qualify or cannot access the funding they need to maintain operations or to grow. In the commercial finance industry, we need to be aware of these facts and apply them to Black and minority-owned businesses in our own cities. Once there is that crucial awareness about the types of minority-owned businesses in your area and how they are performing, you can create a plan of action.
You cannot wait for people to come to you
Being aware of financing issues for Black and minority-owned businesses is a good place to start, but we need to take action. If minority-owned businesses are not getting approved for traditional financing, what incentive would they have to seek funding from lenders or even commercial finance professionals? This created a negative feedback loop where many in the commercial finance sector sit back and say, “Well, if these businesses needed financing, why aren’t they contacting us and applying?” At the same time, minority-owned businesses know the statistics do not favor them, so they try to keep their operations running out of pocket.
This is where we can make a difference and break the cycle.
Commercial finance professionals can reach out to Black and minority-owned businesses to identify their pain points. Are they experiencing cash flow problems? Do they need extra capital for inventory? Do they have goals for growth? And the crucial question, what has kept them from getting the financing they need? Taking the initiative to open up the conversation is a big first step.
As commercial lenders, we have the ability to go beyond the traditional loans offered by banks. We can find solutions for Black and minority-owned businesses that have been deemed “unbankable” by traditional lenders. From working capital to equipment to growth solutions and everything in between, we can offer accessible financing to help minority-owned businesses and break that streak of loan turndowns from traditional channels that have historically prevented them from achieving their full potential. Even something as simple as offering sound business advice, letting business owners know there are options, and showing how those options work goes a long way toward building a bridge and a relationship in an arena that is thought to have a lot of gatekeeping.
Taking that first step
At Commercial Capital Training Group, we teach people the ins and outs of commercial finance. Graduates from our program are fully-equipped to offer solutions to Black and minority-owned businesses of all types, nationwide. In doing so, many of our grads have connected with Black and minority communities in their own cities to understand and serve their financial needs. If you want to launch a career in commercial finance and provide accessible financing to minority-owned businesses and make a positive difference in the process, contact CCTG today and learn more about our intensive training courses.