Access Plus Capital receives funding for the Bridging the Financial Justice Gap Initiative to help minority-owned businesses


Fresno, CA- Access to capital creates opportunities for small businesses to thrive. Recently, Pacific Western Bank invested $300,000 into Access Plus Capital’s Bridging the Financial Justice Gap Initiative to expand its lending into the regional African-American small business community.


“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Pacific Western Bank,” said Tate Hill, Access Plus Capital Executive Director. “Partnership likes like these are critical. The bank recognizes the need small businesses have and are willing to make an investment to support their success.”


Access Plus Capital’s initiative was developed in response to the growing need to provide capital and business coaching services for the Valley’s most underinvested communities, including Black, Southeast Asian, and rural Latino businesses. Thanks to the Pacific Western Bank’s Social Justice Initiative, created to provide financial support to underserved communities, these funds will support the creation of a $2,500,000 fund targeting African-American businesses.


As a partner working on the Bridging Financial Justice Gap Initiative, Fresno Metro Black Chamber (FMBCC) supports Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in the greater Fresno region through technical assistance, capacity building, and advocacy services. FMBCC received a companion grant for technical assistance in the amount of $35,000, from Pacific Western Bank, as part of the bank’s commitment to underserved communities.


“Over the last year, we have seen how important access to capital and resources has been for all small businesses, and the ability to respond to the specific needs of our community is enhanced by committed partners like Pacific Western Bank who provided seed funding for the Fresno DRIVE Betting Big flexible capital fund being established by Access Plus Capital and Fresno Metro Black Chamber,” said Tara Lynn Gray, President and CEO of Fresno Metro Black Chamber. “This is another step in the right direction on the road to economic recovery for our region’s Black businesses.”


The Initiative has funding from JP Morgan, Chase, Citibank, The James Irvine Foundation, Self-Help Enterprises, the National Association Latino Community Asset Builders, and now Pacific Western Bank. The hope is more banks and investors will contribute to the initiative, helping to close the capital gap for entrepreneurs of color.


If you are interested in providing financial assistance to local small businesses, please call (559) 263-1368. Are you a small business in need of capital? Please visit 1920 Mariposa Mall, Suite 111 Fresno, CA 93721 Contact: Kristine Morgan Cell: (559) 790-0940

About Access Plus Capital

Access Plus Capital (formerly Fresno CDFI) offers financing, training, and asset development services for low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs. Since its inception in 2009, the multilingual staff – experienced in micro-finance, credit counseling, business plan development, and advocacy for lowincome families – has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs realize their dreams. Access Plus Capital serves a 14-county region in Central California and is a subsidiary of Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (Fresno EOC). More information can be found here:

About Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce (FMBCC) and Chamber Foundation (FMBCF)

The Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Foundation is a locally-based membership organization with a global reach advancing the interests of the greater African-American community through the creation of opportunities, advocacy, and business & economic development. The Foundation provides educational programming for entrepreneurs of all ages that leads to financial responsibility, sustainability, and job growth.

About Pacific Western Bank

PacWest Bancorp (“PacWest”) is a bank holding company with over $29 billion in assets headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with an executive office in Denver, Colorado, with one wholly-owned banking subsidiary, Pacific Western Bank (the “Bank”). The Bank has 70 full-service branches located in California, one branch located in Durham, North Carolina, and one branch located in Denver, Colorado. The Bank provides community banking products including lending and comprehensive deposit and treasury management services to small and medium-sized businesses conducted primarily through our California-based branch offices and Denver, Colorado branch office.



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