In April, Lendistry and Goldman Sachs announced a game-changing, rapid-response collaboration to help small businesses, independent contractors and nonprofits get desperately-needed capital during the COVID-19 crisis.
From the day it opened, Lendistry’s mission has been to help small business owners get the fair, affordable capital they needed to grow. Women and minority business owners were and are still underbanked and needed a lender that was willing to step up and give them the financial opportunities they deserve, with a combination of state-of-the-art fintech and personal, one-on-one customer service that continues after the loan is closed. It turns out this lending model is perfectly suited for a pandemic no one saw coming.
Through its 10,000 Small Businesses program, Goldman Sachs seeded the small business lender with $10 million, which Lendistry is loaning to small businesses in accordance with the guidelines established by the Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP). This initiative is for all small business owners but is specifically focused on minority-owned businesses in low-income areas.
The lender has also partnered with Sean “Diddy” Combs and other MDIs in the “Our Fair Share” initiative to help minority-owned businesses get their share of PPP funding.
“Our model and our team at Lendistry are made for this. It’s like we’ve been training for this moment all along.” Sands said at the press conference announcing the partnership with Goldman Sachs, “We have continuously sought out connections and partnerships between community leaders and major banks like Goldman Sachs, and leveraged those connections through our unique platform to bring small businesses the support they need.”
Even before these programs were officially announced, Lendistry’s team was already making an impact. Suzanne Razaq was running a tutoring and test prep business Baltimore when COVID-19 brought her operation to a sudden halt. Though she qualified for a PPP loan, her bank was not accepting applications for the program. Lendistry was ready for her, and though she’s still staying home, she says, “The PPP Loan, through Lendistry, will allow me to hit the ground running when the lock-down ends.”
The process of applying for PPP loans got off to a rocky start, but Sands assures borrowers, “For business owners who felt discouraged about applying earlier in the PPP process, now is the time to act to secure funding that can help put your people to work and your enterprise back on its feet.
“PPP approval is faster for well-documented applicants compared with just a few weeks ago. Furthermore, recent guidelines issued by the SBA have helped clarify for borrowers the requirements for loan forgiveness. Re-establishing employee teams is a key to regaining traction, and Lendistry stands ready to help,” Mr. Sands concluded.
Lendistry is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which means it is dedicated to delivering responsible funds to businesses in underserved, low-income areas, because when small businesses grow and thrive, so do their local communities. It also works with its non-profit partner organization, The Center, to provide businesses with ongoing coaching, learning and networking opportunities.
“The current crisis has caused us to roll-up our sleeves and get to work in a different way…. We need to make sure no business is overlooked, especially those in lower-income areas and those owned by minorities. Their employees, their customers, their local economies are depending on lenders to step up and do their part.”
Stepping up has been the foundation of Lendistry’s mission from day one.