16 Dec Urban League of Greater Cleveland announces new $8 million loan fund
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Shonnetta Hill has owned daycare facilities for 17 years, but two years ago when a line of credit wasn’t refinanced, and a lender called in a note, a series of events led to her facing possible bankruptcy.
Hill, owner of two Learning to Grow Inc. childcare centers in Midtown and North Randall, runs a business that’s open seven days a week catering to low-income families in need of flexible hours.
“I tried several other banks, but I kept getting turned down,” said Hill, 47. “The bank cross defaulted all of my loans and wanted to foreclose the business. I sought out different avenues to see if someone would take over the loans. I never gave up.”
Hill said she spent months online googling all sorts of organizations and loan programs, and somehow she found the Capital Access Fund. It’s a new three-year program that provides Greater Cleveland minority business owners with access to capital. Hill landed a $1.2 million loan that allowed her to consolidate five loans into one, saving $28,000 a year.
“It saved 40 jobs because I have 40 employees between both locations, and it saved 174 child care slots for low-income families,” she said. “If it wasn’t for the Capital Access Fund we would be out of business. Those jobs would be lost and families would be without reliable childcare.”