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BMO Harris launches new program for minority-owned small businesses

BMO Harris launches new program for minority-owned small businesses

BMO Harris launches new program for Black and Latinx-owned small businesses in Northwest Indiana

A BMO Harris ATM is shown.

BMO Harris has launched a new program to help black and Hispanic-owned small businesses in Illinois and Lake and Porter counties in Northwest Indiana.

"The program is designed to increase small businesses' access to capital through customized lending criteria and offers, educational resources, coaching and networking," BMO Harris Corporate Communications Manager Kathleen Szot said. "It’s part of a $5 billion commitment over five years to support inclusive economic opportunities that we announced in November."

The program offers education, webinars, podcasts, coaching and practical tools on how to grow one's business, such as tips on how to increase sales and recession-proof a company.

BMO Harris also is offering better access to capital, including improved access to funding, a revolving line of credit, and a 0.25% rate discount with automatic payments on a BMO Harris business checking account.

BMO Harris also is partnering with community nonprofits to help provide black and Hispanic-owned small businesses alternative sources and access to networks.

"The barriers that disproportionately affect minorities — and in particular, black and Latinx communities — have only intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic," said David Casper, U.S. CEO of BMO Financial Group. "The bold commitments outlined in this pledge are designed to help tackle barriers to inclusion in the financial services industry and create more opportunity for our clients, communities and colleagues to succeed in business and in life."

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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