On Tuesday, March 15th, we held a community meeting highlighting the Lending Landscape. This meeting was specifically designed for key community organizations working to grow small business in Illinois and Northwest Indiana.

More than 50 bank and community partners of Accion were in the room to discuss the small business financing market, share resources we’ve developed, and strategize how we can help more businesses access healthy financing.

Amy Clinton, Accion Chicago’s Business Development Officer, outlined how the landscape has changed – more and more predatory lenders have entered the arena – and how we’re working to educate our clients and partners alike about the risks posed by these lenders. Amy said after the meeting, “this event was an incredible affirmation of the resources that exist for small business owners in Chicago. At Accion we know we can’t solve the issue of predatory loans alone, so it was important to us to gather other non-profits, community partners, Small Business Development Centers, and banks to share ideas and collaborate together.”

Thank you to all who attended the meeting and participated in the discussions. A very special thank you goes out to George Wright and Citibank for donating the meeting space and providing the lovely breakfast for our guests. Stay tuned for more information on the topic of predatory lending and how Accion is working to improve the changing financial landscape.

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