Liberty Bank and Trust Company recently announced its partnership with the city of New Orleans, Newcorp, Inc., the Kresge Foundation J. P. Morgan/Chase, and Living Cities Catalyst Impact Fund to create a BuildNOLA Mobilization Fund. The fund will provide up to $10 million in capital for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE’s) to access work in the City of New Orleans’ Green Infrastructure rebuilding program over the next 6 years. Liberty also participates in a similar program in Detroit, Michigan.
With over $250 million anticipated infrastructure work and the City’s 35 percent DBE goal, $87 million in construction opportunities will be designated for small and minority businesses as New Orleans continues to rebuild. The City has designated Newcorp to manage the BuildNOLA Mobilization Fund. Newcorp is a local Community Development Fund Institution (CDFI), which provides technical and financial assistance to disadvantaged businesses. Newcorp will receive applications and will help DBE’s access loans.
Liberty is a major investor in the BuildNOLA Fund with a $4 million commitment towards the goal of raising $10 million for the fund. The other entities are providing capital, technical assistance and networking.
“Access to capital continues to be the most important factor limiting the establishment, expansion and growth opportunities for firms”, says Alden J. McDonald, President and CEO of Liberty Bank and Trust Co. “These businesses are an engine of employment and economic development and we are proud to be able to provide a means to sustain them within our communities.”
Drextel Amy, President of Liberty’s Michigan Region, where Liberty is a major investor in an Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, says “Liberty Bank is keenly aware of the need to provide capital to small business enterprises.There are many small business enterprises that have the expertise to perform high quality work that don’t have consistent access to capital. Providing capital to these entrepreneurs effectively allows them to gain access to public and private sector contracting opportunities.”
The BuildNOLA Mobilization Fund is another effort by the city of New Orleans to make sure the 35 percent DBE goal becomes a reality.