February 18, 2022
On February 17, 2022, the Bank of Montreal (BMO) announced a $100 million commitment to the newly launched “Business Within Reach: BMO For Black Entrepreneurs” program. The lending program’s launch coincides with Black History Month and aims to create a more inclusive Canadian business environment. As part of BMO’s announcement, Mike Bonner, Head, Canadian Business Banking at BMO stated that "every business owner deserves access to the financial support they need for their business to make real financial progress, now and in the future" and that “Business Within Reach: BMO for Black Entrepreneurs increases access to capital and networks that break down barriers to inclusion.”
Under the program, eligible Black business owners and entrepreneurs can receive loans of up to $250,000 which can be used for capital investments, working capital and short-term accounts receivable financing. To supplement these loans, the program also provides participants with educational resources and access to professional partnerships. Regarding professional partnerships, BMO has partnered with the Black Opportunity Fund, a community-led Canadian Charitable organization that aims to remove financial barriers for Black-led businesses, to provide educational programming to participants in key areas such as business planning, financial management, sales, marketing and budgeting.
By: Zhiyao Chen