Little Rock-based People Trust Community Loan Fund announced it has received a $500,000 Grow with Google Small Business Fund loan and a $150,000.00 Google.org-funded grant from Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a network for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The grant will help People Trust better serve women and BIPOC-owned (black, indigenous, and people of color) small businesses in Arkansas.
People Trust is a certified 501(c)(3) Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) headquartered in Little Rock that serves women-minority owned small businesses in Arkansas who do not have a traditional banking relationship or do not have sufficient collateral or business credit to qualify for traditional funding. The goal is to be a resource, while creating avenues for elevated financial stability for low-moderate income communities.
In March, Google.org made a $5 million grant to OFN to enable OFN’s member CDFIs, like People Trust, to improve access to capital for the most marginalized communities. The unrestricted grants can support operations, loan capital, loan loss reserve, capacity building, or any other purpose.
Since March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began, People Trust has granted 54 small business loans in its target market where access to credit has been restricted for small businesses located in low-income communities. Fifty-four percent of the small business loans funded were for women-owned businesses and 46% of those loans went to minority-owned small businesses hurt by the pandemic.
People Trust will use the Google.org grant to support its operations and loan loss reserve, and the company will use the Grow with Google Small Business Fund Loan to increase small business lending activity in Arkansas.