Pioneering Fund to Grow to $100 million for Former Military Personnel Entrepreneurs

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- PeopleFund is honored to be one of twelve Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) announcing the expansion of the Veteran Loan Fund, with Bank of America as the lead capital investor. Bank of America is seeding a second round of financing for Veteran Loan Fund, doubling a two-year-old commitment that has already funded more than 500 small businesses built by former military personnel across 37 states.

(PRNewsfoto/Bank of America Corporation)

The Veteran Loan Fund, a collaborative effort of a growing number of CDFIs and specialized veteran service organizations, offers an online platform that connects military veterans and their spouses with mission-focused lenders and education partners to help them build and sustain small businesses. Eligible veterans benefit from loan capital at below market interest rates and free business coaching.  

"PeopleFund is deeply proud of representing the Veteran Loan Fund in Texas," said Gustavo Lasala, President and CEO of PeopleFund. "This fund is a prime example of the immense positive impact that CDFIs, Banks, Foundations, Community Partners, Corporations and Individuals can accomplish when working together with purpose and focusing in resolving issues that unite our communities across the country."

PeopleFund, an Austin-based CDFI and managing member of the Veteran Loan Fund, helps underserved veteran entrepreneurs across the state of Texas. Since inception, PeopleFund has deployed more than $30 million to close to 600 small businesses owned by veterans and veteran spouses in Texas. Close to 30% of this lending activity took place since July 2021 and was supported by the Veteran Loan Fund.

"Bank of America has a longstanding commitment to supporting veterans in a multitude of ways, and this investment to provide capital to small businesses owned by veterans and veteran spouses is just another demonstration of that," said David Bader, Bank of America Austin President. "This Veteran's Day and every day, we honor our veterans and recognize veteran entrepreneurs for fueling our local economies."

Veteran Loan Fund plans to grow to $100 million across the nation by 2027 an amount equal to the estimated annual demand for capital from veteran entrepreneurs who lack any funding for their businesses. Its first $15 million round was made possible by a $5 million commitment of long-term, below market rate lending capital from Bank of America as lead investor, along with historic support from other major institutions. Bank of America will lend $10 million to the new $25 million round this year.   

Bank of America is the largest investor in CDFIs, with $2 billion in financing to more than 260 CDFIs across all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Veteran Loan Fund
Member CDFIs currently include: Access to Capital For Entrepreneurs (GA), Appalachian Community Capital (VA), Black Business Investment Fund (FL), Business Impact Northwest (WA), Colorado Enterprise Fund (CO), Dream Spring (NM), Economic and Community Development Institute (OH), Pathway Lending (TN), Justine Petersen (MO), PeopleFund (TX), Pursuit (NY), and Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WI).

Specialized technical assistance partners currently include: Bunker Labs, Vet Met, Vet to CEO, as well as local partnerships with Veteran Business Outreach Centers, SCORE and SBDCs.

For more information, please visit https://www.veteranloanfund.com

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 69 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000 ATMs (automated teller machines) and award-winning digital banking with approximately 57 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BAC).

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for news email alerts.

PeopleFund
PeopleFund is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), an SBA lender and serves as the managing member of Veteran Loan Fund. Established in 1994, PeopleFund has almost 30 years of experience helping thousands on the path to financial security. PeopleFund programs focus on advancing economic opportunities for low and moderate-income people regardless of color, gender or creed, by providing capital, training and other resources needed to grow healthy small businesses. Since inception, PeopleFund has delivered almost $220 million in financial assistance to over 5,000 small businesses and $187 million in New Market Tax Credit allocations that attracted $800 million in investments, creating and retaining over 22,000 jobs.  This puts PeopleFund's direct impact in the Texas economy as surpassing $1 billion.

Reporters may contact:
Carla Molina, Bank of America     
Phone: 1.512.397.2402
carla.molina@bofa.com

Jenny Palecek, PeopleFund
Phone: 1.512.222.1005
JPalecek@peoplefund.org

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SOURCE Bank of America Corporation

Copyright 2023 PR Newswire

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