Dallas-Based Comerica Invests $2M For Small Businesses and Small Farm Operators to ‘Weather These Challenging Times’

Investments to Lendistry and California FarmLink will target businesses in underserved areas as well as small-scale farms and ranches providing fresh food to their communities.

Dallas-based Comerica Bank continues to make good on its promise to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19 with a recent $2 million investment, part of the $8 million the company and its charitable foundation pledged to invest in the community and small business assistance.

An investment of $1.5 million will go to Lendistry and $500,000 will go to small businesses located in the states Comerica serves—Texas, California, Florida, Michigan, and Arizona—through California FarmLink.

“Lendistry and California FarmLink work directly with small businesses to deliver critical funding and resources,” Irvin Ashford, Jr., Comerica Bank chief community officer, said in a statement. “These businesses provide valuable services, goods, and jobs that are vital to our communities, and we want to help those needing support recover and weather these challenging times.”

Lendistry provides small business and commercial real estate loans and financial education, while California FarmLink invests in small farms and ranches through lending, education, and access to land.

Lendistry CEO Everett K. Sands said in a statement, “Comerica’s investment in Lendistry will support loans to some of the smallest and most underserved businesses in Comerica’s markets, including those owned by minorities, women, and veterans.”

Sands said Comerica’s capital would enable Lendistry to meet the growing need for small business support, low-cost financing, and fintech efficiency.

California FarmLink serves 200 small-scale farmers throughout California.

Reggie Knox, the company’s executive director, said, “These farmers are the future of regional food systems. So far this year, more than 35 percent of borrowers are women and 80 percent are farmers of color. Many of these farmers have been adversely impacted by the closing of restaurants, schools, and other sales channels due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

In addition to assisting operators of small farms, the Comerica investment also will help guarantee communities continued access to fresh, healthy foods during the COVID-19 crisis, according to Knox.

In May, officials with Comerica Bank and the Comerica Charitable Foundation announced they would make a total of $8 million in investments that support community programming to vulnerable populations and small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

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