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Economic Administrators Pledge More Loan Access And Business Support For BIPOC Community

Cytonn Photography

Economic officials with the Cities of Eugene and Springfield are reviewing ways they can better accommodate communities of color.  

Anne Fifield is Economic Strategies Manager for the City of Eugene. She said the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted disparities, so her staff is exploring how to balance things out, including loan programs.

“Financing has traditionally excluded the Black community because you need collateral to take out a loan. What community is less likely to own their home, that’s the primary source of financial capital to borrow money to start your business? The Black Community.” 

Courtney Griesel. Economic Development Director for the City of Springfield, said  more can be done in helping business owners of color acquire loans.

“About 20 percent of our Springfield population are people of color. And we need to do better about how our program applications for loans are written, our relationships with business owners.” 

Griesel says her office has also partnered with Huerto de la Familia to build out its LatinX Business Navigator program. 

Both Griesel and Fifield made their remarks at the recent Eugene Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Summit.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.