If bankers like Ruth Salzman and Emma C. Chappell have their way, minority and women entrepreneurs may begin to see banks in a new light.
"Women and minorities have a more difficult time getting capital. That's why we created this bank," explains Chappell, founder of United Bank of Philadelphia, a 3-year-old community commercial bank that has grown to $95 million in assets largely due to her energy.
Ruth Salzman, executive vice president of Chemical Community Development Inc. in New York City, says Chemical Bank is specifically targeting women and minority small-business owners who have a hard time obtaining financing.
"We offer products tailored to the needs of small businesses and take into account some of the differences women and minorities may have," says Salzman, pointing to the CAN*DO (Chemical Access Network for Development Opportunities) Program as a key component of the bank's efforts. CAN*DO features character lending, a reduced owner's equity requirement, referrals from bankers and community organizations, technical assistance, and credit enhancements.
Chappell sees a brighter future ahead as more banks take an interest in the lucrative small-business market. And with the advent of credit scoring, a uniform system for rating applicants, Salzman agrees that writing these loans is becoming more attractive to banks.
Other programs to assist women and minority entrepreneurs in obtaining bank loans include the SBA's Women's Prequalification Loan Program (see "SBA Report," August 1994), the Minority Prequalification Loan Program (see this month's "SBA Update" on page 118), and the LowDoc Loan Program (see "SBA Report," September 1994).