Truist Foundation and Truist Charitable Fund announced a $2 million grant to Black Business Investment Fund Inc. (BBIF), a community development financial institution (CDFI) built to foster the creation and expansion of Black businesses by providing loans, education, and training services. The grant will help create BBIF’s Revolving Loan Fund that will provide loan capital for small business lending, targeting BIPOC and underserved small businesses across Central Florida.
Truist Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers, Truist Central Florida Regional President Steve Fisher, and Truist Foundation Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy Meghan Pietrantonio joined BBIF President and CEO Inez Long to share the impact that it will have on local businesses during a grant announcement at Truist’s office in Orlando.
“Truist has had a long-term relationship with BBIF, and we’re honored to help expand their work during this critical season when so many small businesses in Florida are looking for recovery support in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian,” says Lynette Bell, president of Truist Foundation. “BBIF shares our vision to support underserved communities and provide a sustainable source of funding for racially and ethnically diverse- and women-owned businesses that haven’t had access to the traditional lending market in the past.”
This grant is part of Truist and Truist Foundation’s $120 million joint commitment to strengthening and supporting small businesses nationwide, with a focus on Black-, Latino- and women-owned businesses. Truist and BBIF’s partnership has existed since the founding of BBIF, and this grant will help elevate BBIF’s work for historically underserved small businesses across 14 counties in Central Florida.
“BBIF is committed to developing BIPOC businesses to build their resilience and capacity,” says Inez Long, president and CEO of BBIF. “With the funds from Truist, we are empowered to continue our intentional work, providing access to fair, flexible loan capital at a time when our clients need it most.”
Funding from Truist Foundation and Truist Charitable Fund comes at a time when small businesses are looking for extra support following Hurricane Ian. A BBIF survey administered to small businesses in Florida found that 60 percent of respondents noted a need for working capital of $50,000 or less if storm-related economic impacts last beyond October. The Revolving Loan Fund will help provide flexible term capital that will assist in creating and retaining jobs and improving resiliency for businesses impacted by hardships.