Small Business Lending - Press

April 25, 2016

by Bruce Rushton

A bill to regulate online lenders that target small businesses with loans that can carry more than 100-percent annual interest rates is moving, albeit slowly, through the Illinois General Assembly.

January 4, 2016

By Peter Rudegeair, Emily Glazer, and Ruth Simon

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. spent about $8 billion this year on technology. But when it came to developing a new online loan for small business, the bank turned to an unlikely outsider.

January 23, 2015
Small businesses in low-income, majority minority neighborhoods in the Chicago area were less likely to receive loans between 2008 and 2012, according to a report from the Woodstock Institute, recipient of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The report, which examines...
November 19, 2014

By Natalie Moore

In underserved communities, entrepreneurs have a hard time finding capital to start and grow their businesses.

But several programs in Chicago are helping these micro-business owners secure loans and be financially successful.

September 5, 2014

By Michael Romain

The more low-income and the more minority a Census tract is, the harder it is for businesses within that tract to access credit, report says

September 2, 2014
In 2010, Jimmie and Tiffany Williams received a small loan from Accion Chicago to expand Just Us Lawn Care Inc., a South Side landscaping and snow-removal business. Since then the company has blossomed, adding jobs and income that reverberate through their neighborhood economy.
August 29, 2014
Local economies suffer when neighborhood businesses can't get loans to grow, hire new workers and generate economic activity.
August 29, 2014

Small businesses in low-income, majority minority neighborhood in the Chicago area were less likely to receive loans between 2008 and 2012, according to a new report by the Woodstock Institute.

Press Clipping • Business Loans (WBEZ)
August 22, 2014
WBEZ's Claudia Morell speaks with Woodstock Institute Vice President, Spencer Cowan, about the disparate access to bank lending for Chicago area businesses. “There may be business owners in those neighborhoods who don’t think that they will qualify for bank financing and don’t even apply.” Cowan says these neighborhoods need capital the most. “They can hire, they can pay people who live in the neighborhood to work and those people then have resources to buy and to increase economic activity, to invest, to become homeowners and to build wealth.”
August 20, 2014

By Sarah Needleman

7:20 EDT - Amid a slow recovery in US small-business lending, a report out today suggests that small firms in low-income communities are struggling the most. Between 2008 and 2012, small businesses in such neighborhoods in the Chicago metro area received $817M less than their share of overall business credit, reports Woodstock Institute, a nonprofit that analyzed data from Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, US Census and Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Just like the housing recovery, it's not even," says the study's author, Spencer Cowan. "If we have areas that are not growing, those will slow down the recovery for the entire nation." (; @saraheneedleman)

July 25, 2014
Chicago’s housing market has been recovering steadily in recent years. The rate of foreclosure filings has gone down across the city since the housing crisis, and home prices have significantly increased compared to a year ago. But some neighborhoods aren’t recovering nearly as fast as others. WBEZ’s Susie An has the details on one reason why that may be. Spencer Cowan, Vice President of the Woodstock Institute, offers some history on why some neighborhoods are slower to rebound than others.