South Bend Providing Grants For Emergency Small Business Loans

Apr 14, 2020

South Bend skyline
Credit Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

The City of South Bend is providing six hundred thousand dollars in grants so local businesses can get emergency small business loans.

The grants go to a pair of community development financial institutions that will then provide the emergency loans to businesses.

The City will host a virtual Emergency Assistance Fair for small businesses to learn more about the loans and other available COVID-19 relief. The fair will be on Friday from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Both nonprofit and for-profit South Bend community businesses can learn about available financing at the Emergency Assistance Fair.

Read full press release below: 

The City of South Bend is awarding grants totaling $600,000 to a pair of community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to provide small business loans to local firms impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Before this pandemic, it was a priority of mine to attract more financing for small businesses from CDFIs,” said Mayor James Mueller. “Now that groundwork has opened the door to providing these relief options and helping our local businesses weather this economic storm.”

The City is partnering with two CDFIs, Bankable and Accion Serving Illinois and Indiana, who will administer the emergency small business loans. Both organizations have long track records of lending to under-resourced borrowers, including a focus on equity and inclusion.

The City will host an Emergency Assistance Fair (EAF) for small businesses to learn more about the emergency small business loans and other available COVID-19 relief on Friday, April 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This event, held alongside CDFI Friendly South Bend — a newly-formed nonprofit organization working to connect borrowers with flexible and affordable capital — Accion Serving Illinois and Indiana, Bankable, the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce, and many local financial institutions, will share resources to help South Bend’s small businesses keep their teams employed and contribute to our community resilience and recovery. Both nonprofit and for-profit South Bend community businesses can learn about available financing at the Emergency Assistance Fair.  

“We are facing unprecedented economic uncertainty and standing up programs to provide ready capital to small businesses is urgent to the survival of many businesses in South Bend,” says Sonja Karnovsky, Interim Executive Director of CDFI Friendly South Bend. “Community development financial institutions are often on the front lines of economic crisis, offering flexible and affordable financing to those who need it most. I am grateful for all the hard work local financial institutions and CDFIs are doing to serve our community.”

Lenders will be available at the event and financial institutions will provide information about the Small Business Administration relief programs. CDFI Friendly South Bend will help connect small businesses and entrepreneurs to lenders.

“The current health & economic crisis has hit so many small businesses in our community hard. We’re excited to team up with the City and its partners on this important program,” said Chamber President & CEO Jeff Rea. “We appreciate that the Mayor and City have recognized the critical needs of local businesses and have marshalled the resources needed to help those small businesses survive this challenging time.”

The EAF will be hosted virtually, and the opening informational session can be accessed at 10:30 a.m. at https://tinyurl.com/EAF-General. Attendees can view the general information session during the first 30 minutes of the event, then enter as many small group discussions with individual service providers as they’d like. All participating organizations will be available to respond to questions during this time.

Following the informational session, small group discussions with providers will be held from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Links to each provider’s session are: