THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES SBA/NAACP PARTNERSHIP TO INCREASE LENDING AND BUSINESS ASSISTANCE TO AFRICAN AMERICAN FIRMS
Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today a partnership agreement between the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) that will increase lending and development assistance to African American-owned businesses.
"I am pleased that this agreement will significantly increase lending to African American businesses," Vice President Gore said during a speech to the NAACP's 89th Annual Convention. "The NAACP will now be able to provide crucial technical assistance and direct loans through its eight Community Development Resource Centers. Together, we will open the doors to this new economy wider than ever before."
The SBA plans to deliver $1.4 billion worth of loan assistance to African American-owned firms by the year 2000, quadrupling loans to that business community under the Administration. That goal is part of the agency's larger Outreach Initiative to increase service to African American and Hispanic business owners.
The Vice President also announced that an important SBA pilot loan program, designed to increase lending to minority and women business owners, will now be available in every SBA field office across the nation.
Under the Pre-Qualification Program, minority business owners can work with non-profit groups that the SBA selects to get help in developing viable business plans and loan application packages. If SBA then finds the borrower qualified, it issues a pre-qualification letter indicating that the applicant appears to merit a loan guaranty.
"With the NAACP as its partner and with new products like the national Pre-Qualification Program, the SBA is streamlined and focused on success for America's small business owners," SBA Administrator Aida Alvarez said.
As part of the new SBA/NAACP partnership, the agency will work with the NAACP's Community Development Resource Center program to sponsor community development, small business, and consumer awareness workshops in seven cities, including Baltimore, MD; Richmond, VA; Charlotte, NC; Columbia, SC; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX.