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Opportunity Fund partners with KeyBank to launch lending program for independent truckers in New York

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Thu, Jun 27th 2019 03:40 pm

Partnership will launch program to deploy loans to independent truck drivers, create jobs, generate economic activity

Opportunity Fund, the nation’s leading nonprofit small business lender, is partnering with KeyBank to launch a program that will offer $140 million in loans to independent truck drivers in New York. This new program will bolster the state’s trucking industry, boost the region’s economy and replace older trucks with newer clean-burning models.

Opportunity Fund and KeyBank will offer loans ranging from $50,000 to $200,000.

Opportunity Fund, a California-based Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has a strong track record of lending to truckers on the West Coast, having made more than 3,500 truck loans totaling over $140 million since 2010. Through the KeyBank partnership and similar initiatives, Opportunity Fund expects to:

•Deploy loans to owner-operated truckers, with a focus on lending in the Buffalo, Rochester and Central New York areas;

•Create jobs and generate economic activity through new spending, wages and tax revenues;

•Put newer, cleaner-burning trucks on the road that reduce emissions;

•Give independent truckers in New York, many of whom are minorities or low- income borrowers, access to responsible and affordable small-dollar loans;

•Help truck drivers who have no credit history, or a thin file establish a credit score; and

•Enable truck drivers to achieve economic independence and additional flexibility in their schedules.

A critical partner in expanding Opportunity Fund’s impact in New York and nationwide is the “Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.” Their innovative technology investments, along with initiatives such as the KeyBank partnership, are key components of Opportunity Fund’s strategic plan to deploy $1.2 billion in loans to underserved small business borrowers by 2023, and expand its lending from 13 to 45 states.

“Through this program, we have a great opportunity to foster the growth of the trucking industry and New York’s economy by supporting these entrepreneurs,” said Gary Quenneville, KeyBank regional executive and Buffalo market president. “Small business owners strengthen our economy and our communities. Opportunity Fund understands how to lend to this community. That is why we are so proud to partner with them to address this need.”

Small business lending is a core component of KeyBank’s business, and trucking is a thriving industry in New York that offers drivers the ability to own their own business, achieve greater economic independence and additional flexibility in their schedules.

“This partnership in New York allows us to lend to small business owners and independent truckers seeking to build a better life for themselves and their families,” said Opportunity Fund CEO Luz Urrutia. “KeyBank is highly regarded and nationally recognized for its commitment to helping communities thrive by supporting entrepreneurship – making them the perfect partner to expand access to affordable and responsible capital to truckers in the Empire State.

Next Street, a mission-driven advisory firm revolutionizing how their clients provide capital, customers, and services to small businesses, worked with both organizations in the structuring of this partnership.

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