Amazon, Lendistry Support Small Business Growth with Expansion of Amazon Community Lending Program

A year after its successful pilot launch, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced that it will roll out the Amazon Community Lending program as a long-term offering “to help even more sellers grow.”

In partnership with B.S.D. Capital, Inc. dba Lendistry, this program will “continue to support urban and rural small businesses in socially and economically distressed communities through short-term loans at competitive and affordable rates.”

Since its launch, the program has “loaned more than $35 million to over 800 sellers—surpassing the original goal of $10 million during the pilot.” Now, the program plans “to loan more than $150 million in the next three years to small businesses selling in the Amazon US store.”

Armando Colimodio, co-owner of Colsen, an e-commerce business based in Miami, FL, said:

“At Colsen, we have big ambitions to grow the business but a need for capital to facilitate it was critical. By working with Amazon Community Lending, we’ve been able to invest in our business and expand our great product selection through the program’s simple and quick loan acceptance process. We expect to double our sales this year and remain committed to growing our product portfolio.”

Amazon sellers account “for more than half of all units sold in Amazon’s store.”

Small businesses approved for a loan from Lendistry through the Amazon Community Lending program can “use these funds to grow their business in Amazon’s US store and to cover other strategic business needs, such as staffing and operations costs, inventory, product development and manufacturing, and marketing efforts to build their brands and grow their customer base.”

Loans provided by Lendistry through this program “will range from $10,000 to $250,000 with terms of up to five years.”

Talisha Bekavac, executive vice president of U.S. Black Chambers, Inc, remarked:

“Businesses in our communities are often launched with limited responsible options for funding. The Amazon Community Lending program has created a model that helps Black-owned businesses grow and thrive with a minimum loan size of $10,000 and rates at an affordable and competitive level.”

Since 2011, Amazon has “provided loans to small businesses selling in its stores through Amazon Lending.”

The company believes that “an infusion of working capital at the right moment can help sellers succeed.”

Through its partnership with Lendistry, an established minority-led Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Amazon can now “help reach urban and rural small businesses in socially and economically distressed communities.”

The majority of the funds Lendistry has historically disbursed “have gone to traditionally low-to-moderate income communities, minority-owned businesses, and other historically disadvantaged business owners and the communities they serve.”

In addition to providing access to critical working capital, the Amazon Community Lending program “provides small businesses access to supplementary resources from Lendistry, including one-on-one consulting, webinars, and on-demand educational classes.”

Small businesses also “have access to Amazon’s Seller University and Amazon Small Business Academy to help them succeed.”

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