Study: Businesses In Low-Income, Majority Minority Areas Struggle To Access Credit (Progress Illinois)

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.

On average, about two of every seven businesses in low-income, majority minority areas received small business loans—including business credit cards, lines of credit, and traditional loans of under $1 million—from large financial institutions with assets of more than $1 billion, according to the report, “Dis-Credited: Disparate Access to Credit for Businesses in the Chicago Six County Region.”

The Woodstock Institute, a nonprofit research and policy organization, studied data for the Chicago six-county region from 2008 to 2012 from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census. The six-county region includes Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties.

“If businesses in lower income neighborhoods or communities of color are not able to access capital, they are not going to be able to grow, expand, hire people and contribute to the overall economic growth of the region,” Spencer Cowan, vice president of research at the Woodstock Institute, said during a conference call about the report last week.

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