Helping Small, Emerging Businesses of Color
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the BWC+ invest Economic Development Infrastructure Fund Program?
The BWC + invest program is a focused initiative undertaken by BWC Capital to support black-owned and led businesses during this ongoing COVID19 pandemic. The goal of this initiative is to provide access to patient capital to black businesses that better fits their current reality. By providing patient capital, BWC’s priority benchmark of success is not generating the higher return on deployed capital, but rather helping ensure that viable black businesses can weather this ongoing COVID19 pandemic and be better positioned to thrive post-COVID19. Funding provided through BWC + invest program provides 0% interest for the initial three years and also includes an opportunity for up to 50% of the funding to become forgivable if black business recipients meet certain impact outcomes (e.g. additional information about funding forgiveness requirement are provided in subsequent FAQs).
Who can contribute financial resources to the program?
The BWC + invest program is open for financial contributions from Individuals and organizations (e.g. institutional giving). Financial contributions made are non-equity contributions, meaning the benefactor is not entering an investment that offers a potential return on the initial BWC + invest financial contribution. Furthermore, benefactors will not receive a return of their initial BWC + invest The BWC + invest program is structured as a revolving funding vehicle for black-owned and led business to provide patient capital that will help support and sustain their enterprises amid the ongoing COVID19 pandemic.All proceeds from repayment of BWC + invest funding support by participating black businesses will be used to provide financial support to additional black businesses – which allows this initiative to continually give back by giving forward! Furthermore, 100% of BWC + invest contributions will be used to support black businesses, meaning BWC Capital will not take any professional fees from contributions made (administrative fees apply at two percent (2%) or less).
How can investors give?
To make a financial contribution to the BWC + invest initiative, please visit https://bwccapital.com/bwcinvest/. For individuals and/or organizations interested in making a contribution but require a payment option beyond those provided at www…, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336-691-5786.
Are you a tax-exempt nonprofit organization?
BWC + invest is an initiative of BWC Capital, a for-profit entity. For individuals and organizations interested in making a financial contribution but require a tax-exempt option for making the contribution, please reach out to BWC a please contact us at email@example.com or call 336-691-5786.
Why use a patient loan structure?
With patient capital, the provider of funding does not expect to generate an immediate return on the capital and thus the beneficiary of patient capital is afforded more generous terms (e.g. lower interest rate). For the black business that secures patient capital, more attractive funding terms allows revenue earned to remain in the business (e.g. reinvestment, working capital reserve, etc.) rather than going towards interest and principal payment for external funding sources (e.g. debt and/or non-patient equity). As black businesses work to weather the economic turmoil caused by the COVID19 pandemic, patient capital is a better funding option and allows the recipient to focus on positioning their enterprise for success in a post-COVID19 business environment.
What is the minimum and maximum amount of investment I can make?
There is no required maximum or minimum amount of financial contribution at the individual or institutional (e.g. organization) level. Institutional contributors are encouraged to match BWC’s initial matching contribution of $100,000 (over five years).
How will my investment be used?
100% of contributions to the BWC + invest will be used to provided financial support to primarily black businesses but also businesses of color to help these enterprises weather the economic harm caused by the ongoing COVID19 pandemic and civil unrest. This funding support will offer terms of 0% interest for the initial three years and up to 50% of the initial funding support can be forgiven if the participating black business is able to generate certain impacts and outcomes (e.g. job creation, minority spending, etc.)
If I make a contribution to the program, will I have access to information regarding funding recipients and impacts?
The BWC + invest initiative will include an ongoing tracking of participating black business. This tracking will include a scorecard created by BWC that will provide key information, including BWC + invest funding support amount, jobs creation, and spending with other minority business enterprises.
My company wants to give, what are the next steps?
To make a financial contribution to the BWC + invest initiative, please visit https://bwccapital.com/bwcinvest/ to make your donation. If you have special needs regarding making a financial contribution, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336-691-5786.
Who can apply?
Black-owned businesses with at least one year of operations prior to February 1, 2020 and at least two (2) employees on payroll (can include the business founder/owner).
Can I apply if my business recently opened?
Eligible businesses must have at least one year of business operations prior to February 1, 2020.
How much can my company qualify for?
Businesses can request the amount of financial support deemed necessary to support their business operations. The minimum amount of financial support that a participating black business is anticipated to receive will be between $5,000 and $10,000, whereas the maximum amount of financial support will be based in part on the amount of available BWC + invest funds and the planned uses of the funds by the prospective black business.
If my business was designated as ‘essential” and remained opened during the COVID pandemic can I apply?
Yes, if the business meets the eligibility criteria of being in operations for at least one year prior to February 1, 2020 and has at least two employees on payroll (which can include the business founder/owner).
What documents will I need to provide to apply?
- Depending upon the request you can expect the following items to be required:
- Statement of Need (to include requested amount)
- Current operating statement and budget
- Previous year income statement and balance sheet
- Proof of active business status
- Schedule of debts (if applicable)
- Loan documents (if applicable)
- Cash flow projections and narrative to show how repayment will occur in year three
Will my business be held as collateral for the loan?
Collateral is preferred but not required for our lending program. We will deploy capital in an efficient, responsible manner to our clients. Cashflows are the basis of the collateral.
What is the penalty for failing to repay the loan on time?
Flexible payment options are available. Our lending program is 36 months at 0% interest. To the extent that the principal loan amount is not paid within the 36-month period business owners can apply for an additional 24 months of 0% interest or refinance the principal loan amount within the immediate 12-month period subsequent to the initial 36-month period with a non-BWC + Invest product.
What happens if my company goes out of business before I repay the loan?
Business owners may be eligible for loan forgiveness depending on business circumstances. If the business owner(s) is/are deemed ineligible for loan forgiveness the loan will become a 0% loan at the responsibility of the loan guarantors and shall be paid within 36 months of business cessation. Extensions WILL NOT be allowed under this scenario.
How do you qualify for the 50% loan forgiveness option?
Certain impact requirements will need to be met. A full impact schedule and scorecard will be provided to all applicants approved for lending. The better the business performs over targets the more forgiveness is earned – it’s a win-win!
How will the loan amount be distributed?
Participating businesses will receive BWC + invest funds via either electronic wire payment or in the form of a business cashier’s check made payable to the participating business entity. Each participating business will be required to sign a promissory note that entails terms of repayment and repayment forgiveness.