event recognizes contributions of L. Ross Love
CINCINNATI— June 13, 2013 — The Minority Business
Accelerator (MBA) in Cincinnati has more than 771 million reasons
to celebrate this year, during their 10th anniversary. In addition to a new
record of spending by local corporations and community organizations, average
revenue of MBA portfolio firms reached $29 million and the total number of firm
employees increased to 3,360.
The MBA is the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s
hallmark economic-development initiative focused on
growing sizeable minority firms.
Since its inception in 2003, the MBA has created
1,800 jobs in Cincinnati. This and other milestones are spotlighted in the
MBA’s 2012 annual report, will be released during the annual stakeholder’s
meeting on June 13.
“During the past 10 years, the MBA has
demonstrated an ongoing commitment to small business diversity and innovation
in our region, and it has become a model for other regional business
accelerators,” said Crystal
president of the MBA and economic inclusion at the Cincinnati USA Regional
Chamber. “We’re proud of our work and excited to see how
much more we can accomplish for minority businesses during the next 10 years.”
Looking forward, the MBA is in the investment
phase of a $2 -$5 million fund that will provide regional African-American
and Hispanic-owned firms better access to capital.
The fund will be called L. Ross Love GrowthBridge
Fund in memory of media owner Ross Love. The
entrepreneur, philanthropist, former Procter & Gamble executive and founder
of Blue Chip Broadcasting was dedicated to minority entrepreneurship. During
his career, Love created Blue Chip Enterprises, a company that helped African
Americans start their own businesses.
“Access to capital remains a barrier to growth
for local minority businesses,” said German. “The L. Ross Love
GrowthBridge Fund will address this
issue while further stimulating economic development in the Cincinnati region.”
fund will provide flexible debt
capital to finance growth projects of established, highly-competitive,
African-American and Hispanic-owned firms in the region. The average loan size will be $175,000. It is anticipated that
three to four loans will be made per year.
The fund is
possible through support from many investors, including the Greater Cincinnati
Foundation, which made a $500,000 investment, and the Cincinnati USA Regional
Chamber, which made a $150,000 investment. As part of the investment phase,
additional investors are still being sought to complete the fund.
fund will be managed by the MBA in concert with Legacy Investment Funds. An
independent loan committee will review and approve all proposed loans.
MBA continues to have a significant impact on growing sizeable minority firms
and creating an environment for inclusion, both of which were vitally important
to Mr. Love,” said German. “This fund represents the next stage of this mission
and we’re proud to carry on Mr. Love’s legacy.”
For more information about the MBA,
the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber:
Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber is the nation's fifth largest chamber,
representing the interests of more than 5,000 member businesses. Its mission is
to capture Cincinnati USA as one of the world's favorite American business
centers. The chamber serves its membership and the Cincinnati USA community
through economic development, government advocacy, festivals and events,
regional vision and collaboration, money-saving benefit programs, leadership
and networking opportunities and educational programs. For more information,