Additional funds expand our ability to meet financing needs of minority- and women-owned businesses

Atlanta, GA, September 30, 2020 — Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) announced it recently received a $1 million loan from Fifth Third Bank. The community development financial institution (CDFI) used the funds to deploy loans to small businesses throughout Georgia. With Fifth Third’s grant of $100 thousand and this new lending capital, it marks one of their largest investments from the regional bank to an organization.

“We made this philanthropic commitment to support the needs of small businesses in the state,” said Randy Koporc, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank Georgia. “The pandemic is impacting minority businesses more than ever, and it’s our responsibility to work with non-profit organizations to help businesses see through the coming stages of relief, recovery and resiliency. We are proud to partner with ACE and their business participants to navigate these challenges together.”

Through the ACE Women’s Business Center, Fifth Third will be conducting a three-part webinar series starting in October for small businesses. The virtual programs are scheduled for October 6th, November 12th, and December 3rd and more details/registration can be found here. They have also previously sponsored other events and activities and awarded ACE a $25,000 operating grant in 2017.

“ACE is grateful to have Fifth Third Bank as a significant community lending and philanthropic partner. Especially at this difficult time for small businesses, the new resources made available through our partnership expand our ability to meet financing needs of underserved business owners.   We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Fifth Third Bank,” said Grace C. Fricks, ACE president and CEO.

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.

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

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