New loan product removes barriers to funding for women-owned small businesses.
BMO Harris Bank announced the launch of the new BMO Women in Business Credit Program – a loan product offered under the Women In Business initiative that began last year as part of BMO’s five-year, $5 billion BMO EMpower commitment.
The loan program offers women-owned businesses expanded access to affordable business credit, which the National Association of Women Business Owners has identified as a priority to help women-owned businesses grow.
“We’re passionate about supporting women-owned businesses and understand the vital role they play in a strong U.S. economy and strong neighborhoods,” said Niamh Kristufek, Head of U.S. Business Banking at BMO Harris Bank. “When we announced our Women in Business program last year, the goal was to provide women entrepreneurs with financial resources and meaningful networking opportunities to help them grow their businesses. The BMO Women in Business Credit Program will directly fuel the progress of women-owned businesses and create more opportunities for all small businesses to thrive.”
To be eligible, businesses must have a physical operating location or headquarters in BMO’s retail banking markets, an annual revenue of $10 million or less and be 51 percent owned or controlled by individuals that self-identify as women.
BMO’s Women in Business program now includes:
- Access to Capital: With specialized funding criteria, women business owners now have better access to working capital with expanded credit criteria and competitive interest rates. Small businesses can qualify for a revolving line of credit that will allow them to only pay interest on what they borrow. Rate discounts may apply when setting up automatic payments from a BMO Harris Business checking account
- Access to Education: Practical tools, templates, webinars and coaching are provided to women business owners to help their business make real financial progress.
- Access to Partnerships: BMO is continually forming new partnerships with organizations and sharing those connections with customers to give business owners access to meaningful networks, additional coaching and educational resources, and alternative funding sources.
The program also includes the BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program, which directly supports and elevates women-owned businesses in BMO’s communities. The program was announced for women-owned businesses across America in July in collaboration with Deloitte. In November, the bank will award eight grants of $10,000 each to U.S. women-owned businesses creating positive social, environmental and/or economic change for their customers, communities or employees through their organization’s policies, practices or products. The deadline to apply for the program closed on August 13, 2021.