Amazon will roll out its Amazon Community Lending program as a long-term offering a year after the initiative’s pilot launch. In partnership with Lendistry, the program will continue to support urban and rural small businesses in socially and economically distressed communities. through short-term loans. Since its launch, the program has loaned more than $35 million to more than 800 sellers, surpassing the original goal of $10 million during the pilot. The program plans to loan more than $150 million in the next three years to small businesses selling in the United States for Amazon.
“At Colsen, we have big ambitions to grow the business, but a need for capital to facilitate it was critical,” Armando Colimodio, co-owner of Colsen, an e-commerce business based in Miami, said. “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 by Amazon. Small businesses approved for a loan from Lendistry through the Amazon Community Lending program can use these funds to grow their businesses in the United States 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 bases. Loans provided by Lendistry through this program will range from $10,000 to $250,000 with terms of up to five years.
“Businesses in our communities are often launched with limited responsible options for funding,” Talisha Bekavac, executive vice president of U.S. Black Chambers, said. “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.
“Amazon believes businesses of all sizes should have access to financing, payment options and funds management tools,” Tai Koottatep, director and general manager of Amazon B2B Payments and Lending, said. “The Amazon Community Lending program was developed to help provide sellers in socially and economically distressed communities with working capital as well as one-on-one coaching, education programs, webinars and classes to help them grow now and in the future.”
In addition to providing access to 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.
“When Amazon came to us with the idea for the Amazon Community Lending Program, we knew it would make a significant difference for small businesses that need responsible capital to grow,” Everett K. Sands, CEO of Lendistry, said. “Together, we’ve done impactful work to expand opportunities for growing businesses and give them a responsible lending option.”