Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance capital program sees success

Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance capital program sees success

Britney Hoskins, known to her supporters as a famous event designer, recently managed to secure a $200,000 loan for her business and a $25,000 line of credit.

She participates in a new program that gives black metro Detroit business owners access to capital. The program is called Capital Connect, and it is run by the Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance (MDBBA), a nonprofit organization that aims to help close the racial wealth gap.

Getting the loan was an affirmation for Hoskins that she was doing exactly what she was supposed to do.

“Someone believed in me enough to say, ‘Hey, that’s some money, go do some amazing stuff,'” Hoskins said. “It’s just an affirmation that you’re doing the right thing. I feel like in the black community, we’re not getting enough. We know how to make money but we often make money off our back.”

She and other black business owners feel that stories of people investing in non-Sudanese businesses make funding seem elusive. But Hoskins’ mentality has changed since then because she said Many doors have been opened since she joined Capital Connect.

Capital Connect is a 12-week program in downtown Detroit that provides step-by-step technical assistance and aims to connect businesses with capital. Business owners learn how to create a business plan, showcase their business, build a financial plan and tell their story. Autumn Kellys is the Director of the Capital Connect Program and works under the leadership of Kay Bowman, Chief Operating Officer of MDBBA, and Dean of Charity, President and CEO of MDBBA.

“I want people to walk away and feel very confident in their business,” Bowman said. But I think he also understands it from a banker’s perspective and from a financier’s perspective. We’ll tell them that the biggest question banks want to be able to understand when they read your business plan is “How are we going to get our money back?”

The Capital Connect program, which began in fall 2021, is free for MDBBA members. The program is funded by the organization with the help of grants. The first cohort was supported by a grant from Huntington Bank, and the second cohort, now in progress, is supported by a grant from the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

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Some of the partners that work with Capital Connect include Invest Detroit, Black Leaders Detroit, Independent Bank, CDC Small Business Finance, and American bank. However, Dean said she wants to see more partners involved financially and wants to see policy changes.

“[Blacks]in this country have been deliberately and historically excluded from the negotiating table,” Dean said. “It’s not a question, it’s not an opinion – it’s a fact. So in order to have some kind of equity, some semblance of equity, a drop in capital, we need more willing financing partners.”

Dean said investing in black-owned businesses is seen as a risk. “You will always be in danger when you deal with victims of systemic racism. We need bold, passionate and committed financial institutions (community development financial institutions) and financiers who fully understand their role in creating this disadvantaged population, and their willingness to take risks.”

Get the capital

Hoskins is the owner of a full-service event planning company called The Top Pic Collective, and their immersive events are filled with extravagant décor with an emphasis on vibrant colors, detailed centerpieces, flowers, lights, and balloons. I started working at Hazel Park in 2019. The company owns luxury event rentals, event planners, florists, coordinators, and designers. There is also a venue located at 21700 John R Rd. in Hazel Park.

With the loan, the line of credit and its business profits, Hoskins plans to order new stock from China and hire more staff, including a marketing consultant and administrator. You will also buy a truck to transport company items and open a second location in Grand Rapids. Finally, she plans to give her entire team a bonus.

“I think I’m only able to secure these kinds of money and get these kinds of things because I have people huddling behind me,” Hoskins said.. “For me, it wouldn’t even be true if I didn’t share it with them.”

The $200,000 loan was provided by the Small Business Administration and the $25,000 Line of Credit from Cabage, an Atlanta-based financial firm that provides loans to small businesses.

Capital Connect . Effect

The Capital Connect program was launched in September 2021. To date, the program has supported companies in earning $1.85 million in capital for the first group, which was a class of 10 business owners, and $330,000, so far, for the second cohort, which involved 18 owners. Business.

The second set is still underway, and two members have been funded so far. Bowman said he expects the second group to generate about $3 million in business funding.

The first group attracted 160 applicants for 10 places, and the second group received 85 applications for 18 places. The group participants are MDBBA members, so Dean expects to continue dealing with business owners outside of the 12-week program.

Crystal Newble, managing director and owner of Leadhead Construction in Detroit, which has provided environmental mitigation, demolition and construction services to residential, commercial, and industrial areas since 2004, She was able to secure a $500,000 line of credit with the independent bank through her participation in the program during the first set.

Although she learned a lot from each session, her biggest benefit was learning how to tell her story through her action plan.

“Having these conversations with Autumn and the team about how to think a little bit bigger to tell your story, make it relevant so people understand where your company came from and where it’s headed, and be able to stick with those commitments has been huge for me,” Newbley said. She also received help with financial projections.

Kelis said the storytelling Newbley learned is a key part of the program.

“I think a huge part of convincing someone that you’re worth the money has to do with being able to tell your story with confidence, and that’s a huge part that is often lost,” Kelis said. “Everyone has their own ideas about what their business is and what they do, but not many people really know how to craft a story that can sell why they can grow and why they need the money to grow.”

Angelica Perez is the owner of Hell on Wheelz, a Detroit-based mobile catering and catering company that started in 2021. She was able to secure a $75,000 loan from CDC Small Business Finance and a $2,500 grant from Black Leaders Detroit and was left feeling The first set of software with more confidence and technological intelligence.

“It helps someone like me, a small business owner, put pen to paper — make my vision come true in what I want to do and succeed with,” Perez said. As a waitress, most of her transactions are in cash only, so she said her credit wasn’t great. Perez had a preconceived notion that “no bank will give me financing because of my credit.” she She said she was still shocked even though she had received funding.

CDC Small Business Finance, based in California with an office in Detroit, works with a variety of businesses — from food to construction — in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to provide corporate loans. Nimaj Driscoll, loan officer at CDC Small Business Finance, said the nonprofit recently merged with Capital Impact Partners, based in Washington, D.C., another venture capital lender. During this merger, Driscoll was linked to Bowman.

Driscoll has worked with five business owners in the first group and has been able to provide funding through the organization to three companies, along with one company now in the process of being underwritten.

This work is important to Driscoll because of the history behind the relationship of black business owners and access to financial resources. “Often, banks don’t necessarily have an understanding of the type of business or its impact on society, let alone our willingness to seize the opportunity to fund it,” Driscoll said.

In order to contribute to this effort, the organization has a program called Activate Detroit, which has a process that does not draw a credit score when an employer applies for a loan. So when the management team receives a credit report, they aim to ask business owners what happened in the event of missed payments and other issues on the report versus rejecting the loan outright based on paper credit.

“It is important because in the Detroit small business ecosystem there is a need to have more lending partners because you can never have too many resources…,” Driscoll said. “But it’s not just having more flexible lending programs and capabilities, as well as having people as part of the process who are really passionate about helping the black community — just developing a business perspective — that’s important.”

To learn more about the Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance’s Capital Connect program, visit the organization’s website at Applications for the third cohort will open in June.

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