• Capital Access for Small & Minority Owned Businesses in Greater St. Louis

    Oct 25, 2016

    The St. Louis Regional Chamber, Regions Bank, and the Initiative for Competitive Inner Cities partnered to bring the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program to St. Louis on September 29th at Washington University in St. Louis.  107 companies attended the program that provides training, financial education, and networking.  Businesses are mentored by bankers who specialize in small business lending and engage in learning modules where they are instructed by business experts and renowned academics.  The ultimate goal of the program is to provide growth businesses in urban areas with the resources and connections they need to attract capital and expand their business.  Of the 107 ICCC attendees, 68% of the businesses were minority-owned and 35% of the businesses were women owned.  Industries include accommodation & food service, business services, construction, education, health care & social assistance, manufacturing, media & publishing, technology & software development, transportation & logistics, and wholesale & retail trade.  In 2014, 90% of ICCC participants nationally were able to raise debt capital and 100% of ICCC participants were able to raise equity less than 1 year after their completion of the program. This program advances several aspects of the Chamber’s regional strategic plan including: economic development as well as inclusion & entrepreneurship.

    Small business financing is particularly important as small businesses have such a large impact on employment and economic development in the U.S.  Small businesses are not only responsible for employing nearly half of all private sector workers but have also been responsible for 64% of all new jobs created since 1995. Research has found that obtaining a business loan has a strong effect on the long-term financial position of a small business and that small businesses that receive funding are much more likely to continue to operate and enjoy higher revenues in the future.  The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers loans in the region through their 7(a) loan program and their CDC/504 loan program.  The SBA 7(a) loan program helps new and existing small business with financing while the CDC/504 loan program provides long-term financing for equipment and real estate. These loans are issued by local financial institutions but are guaranteed by the SBA.  The average small business loan in the St. Louis MSA for all reporting financial institutions in 2014 was $45,411 which exceeded the national average for small business loans of $38,265. SBA 7(a) loans are typically much larger than the standard small business loan, with the average 2015 7(a) loan in the St. Louis region equal to $342,038.


       Loans Approved   Total Amount of Loans    Average Loan 
     SBA 7(a)  553  $189,147,100  $342,038
     CDC/504  47  $36,033,000  $766,660
     Total  600  $225,180,100  $375,300

    Capital financing can be a particularly difficult problem for women and minority owned businesses who are typically far less likely to apply for loans than their male and nonminority counterparts for fear of denial.  New minority businesses are also significantly more likely to be denied for loans, even after controlling for factors such as organizational structure, credit score, and type of business.  The large growth in payroll, revenues, and employees that has been driven by a surge in the number of minority and women owned firms in the St. Louis region over the last several years highlights the importance of these businesses as growth drivers for wages, employment, and economic mobility.  However, the latest available data suggests that the revenues of these businesses continue to lag behind other firms.  St. Louis is prioritizing small & medium sized businesses and women & minority owned businesses by promoting programs, such as the SBA Loan Programs and Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC), that will help these companies attract capital and scale their operations.

    Sources: Inner City Capital Connections, U.S. Small Business Administration, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, U.S. Census Bureau, Inc.com, California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity, OECD, International Journal of Business and Management.

  • St. Louis Press Pass

    Oct 21, 2016
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    (KTVI, 10/20/16)
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    First office building in nearly 30 years planned for downtown St. Louis
    (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/19/16)
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    For first time, NGA holds mapping technology conference in Cortex
    (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/20/16)
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    St. Louis agency approves issuing bonds for NGA project
    (St. Louis Public Radio, 10/18/16)
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    Charter has doubled real estate footprint in St. Louis since moving HQ
    (St. Louis Business Journal, 10/19/16)
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    Accelerate St. Louis Contest Finalists Announced, Winners To Be Announced During Global Entrepreneurship Week
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    Better Weekdays helps college students find their perfect career pathway
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    Centene subsidiary awarded expanded Medicaid contract in Missouri
    (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/19/16)
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    (St. Louis Public Radio, 10/19/16)
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    Groundbreaking for first building at Fenton Logistics Park
    (KTVI, 10/20/16)
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    SIUE/SLU research project aims to make people more socially connected through teleoperated robots
    (Riverbender.com, 10/19/16)
    Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Saint Louis University innovators are forging new territory in the function of telerobotic platforms by creating gesture capabilities that propel them from passive, limited interfaces to social, tangible human-robot interactionists. >> CLICK FOR MORE
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    (The Alton Telegraph, 10/15/16)
    Lewis and Clark Community College recently won an award for its efforts to promote sustainability education, practices, programs and training. >> CLICK FOR MORE
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    (40 South News, 10/18/16)
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    O’Fallon approves site plan for reclaiming Fred Weber quarry near I-70
    (Mid Rivers Newsmagazine, 10/14/16)
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    Mike Matheny and Dan Buck propose monumental sports complex in Chesterfield
    (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1-/21/16)
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    MLS Stadium in Midtown at SLU Enters the Conversation
    (nextSTL, 10/18/16)
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    St. Louis Notches a Perfect Score on LGBTQ Equality
    (Riverfront Times, 10/17/16)
    When it comes to protections for its gay, lesbian and transgender residents, St. Louis doesn't just get an A — we can boast an A-plus, for the fifth year in a row. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Chuck Berry Celebrates 90th Birthday With First Album in 38 Years
    (Rolling Stone, 10/18/16)
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    The Ferguson Moment Stages a Movement
    (American Theatre, 10/18/16)
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    New Mississippi River website is expected to boost tourism
    (St. Louis Public Radio, 10/20/16)
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