Mark and Teresa Bishop, owners of Just Right Auto Service in Roswell, Georgia, have been loan clients with ACE since 2016.  They were recently able to get their Paycheck Protection Loan through ACE as well.

Opportunity Finance Network has awarded the loan to support the CDFI’s work helping minority- and women-owned businesses   

Atlanta, GA, August 6, 2020 — Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) announced today it has received a $4 million Grow with Google Small Business Fund loan from Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). The community development financial institution (CDFI) will deploy the loan to small businesses in metro Atlanta and North Georgia hurt by the economic impact of COVID-19.

ACE is the largest small business focused CDFI in Georgia. Since 2000, ACE has provided more than $80 million to 1,300 small businesses, helping create or retain over 10,000 jobs. With offices in Atlanta, Cleveland, Dalton and Norcross ACE currently serves 68 Georgia counties, including all of North Georgia and metropolitan Atlanta. The Atlanta office is located at the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RCIE) on Atlanta’s Westside, a historic African American community designated an Opportunity Zone. The ACE Women’s Business Center provides business development support to African American women and Latinas. It is located in Gwinnett County, the most diverse county in the Southeast. Operations remain in Cleveland, a small town in rural North Georgia.

For twenty years, ACE has provided capital, coaching, and connections to entrepreneurs underserved by traditional financial institutions. Last year, ACE made more than $13 million in loans, with 87% going to underserved entrepreneurs. Over half of the loans in our current $39 million portfolio are deployed to African American entrepreneurs, 52% to women business owners, and 51% to low-or-moderate income entrepreneurs.

ACE is part of the third round of loans OFN has deployed from the Fund.

Launched in March, the Grow with Google Small Business Fund delivers financing to CDFIs that are supporting the short-term recovery and long-term financing needs of America’s small businesses hardest hit by COVID-19. At the same time, Google.org made a $5 million grant to OFN to enable OFN’s member CDFIs 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.

On June 17, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced an additional $45 million in loans for the Fund to assist Black-owned small businesses and $5 million more in Google.org grants. In total, Google has now committed $170 million in loans and $10 million in Google.org grants.

CDFIs are lenders with a mission to serve small businesses underserved by mainstream finance and a proven model for moving capital into the hardest to serve communities. See a full list of loan recipients here.

“Our business owners of color and female entrepreneurs have been hit hard during the pandemic.  ACE’s quick response to meet the needs of these small businesses throughout Georgia is due to partnerships like Google investing in CDFIs,” says Grace Fricks, ACE President and CEO. “We appreciate their commitment and OFN’s confidence in ACE to serve our marginalized communities.”

To learn more about ACE’s services, visit their website (https://aceloans.org/) or call 678-335-5600.

There are more than 1,100 CDFIs working in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. OFN’s more than 300 members serve 58% people of color, 85% low-income, 26% rural, and 48% women (OFN Annual Member Survey, 2018). Nationwide, the CDFI industry manages more than $222 billion.

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