Release Date: 10.04.2011 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs
New Financing Program to Support Atlanta Healthy Food Businesses
GA Organization one of first in nation to receive targeted funds
Grace Fricks, President and CEO of Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), announced a new healthy food financing initiative for small businesses on September 28, 2011, at a meeting of the Georgia Supermarket Access Task Force hosted by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
ACE has received $500,000 from the Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund to provide loans to supermarkets and food retail outlets in Atlanta areas considered "food deserts." The loans will be used to add fresh food inventory, finance mobile food trucks like Fulton Fresh Mobile Farmers Market, and make improvements that will increase resident choice.
The competitive funding was sought after the Food Trust of Philadelphia completed a study on food access throughout the state. Food for Every Child concluded that many Atlanta neighborhoods have few or no supermarkets within a reasonable travel distance. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention ties this lack of access to childhood obesity. Georgia has the nation's second highest rate of obesity among kids ages 10-17.
"ACE’s loan fund is a critical resource for innovations that increase access to healthy food," said John Bare, Vice President for The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. "The fund will provide capital to new or existing businesses responding to consumer demand for affordable, quality food ."
The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, an affiliated fund of the Blank Family Foundation program, provided funding to support the Food Trust’s Georgia study.
Funds will be available January 1, 2012, Fricks said.
About Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE):
ACE provides loans and support to small businesses who lack access to traditional forms of credit. ACE is an SBA Microloan Intermediary, a USDA Intermediary Relender and a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) serving Atlanta and North Georgia. ACE also offers the award-winning Georgia Green Loans program for small businesses that start or expand an eco-friendly product or service, "green" an existing business, or practice environmental sustainability. Since 2000, ACE has loaned over $7.1 million and helped create or retain over 2,000 jobs.
Contact Name: Elizabeth Penney
Company: Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs