The JP UP Date: August Is National Black Business Month

Katie ArnoldThe JP UP date

Number 80                            August 14, 2020                                   St. Louis

August is National Black Business Month
Black owned businesses need our support 12 months out of the year, but August is officially “Black Business Month,” so let’s galvanize support and channel our resources into sustaining, growing and fostering Black businesses in our communities and nationwide.The official website for Black Business Month,, outlines “31 Ways 31 Days,” detailing how to support Black businesses daily during the month of August.

Black owned businesses are vital to the communities that they serve, creating jobs, providing products and services and generating tax revenue.

Let’s make every month “National Black Business Month.”

St. Louis CDFIs Roll-out Coronavirus Programs Addressing Capital Access and Relief

Agile and nimble, St. Louis-based community development financial institutions (CDFIs) have responded to the financial needs of communities in the wake of Covid-19. Coalesced as the St. Louis CDFI Coalition, its member organizations share a common mission of access to safe and affordable financial products and services, ranging from credit builder loans for consumers to commercial rehab mortgages for non-profits. Justine PETERSEN/Great Rivers Community Capital is a proud member of the St. Louis CDFI Coalition.

At the onset of the pandemic, CDFIs took quick steps to implement the following emergency resources:

● Borrowers were able to request breaks from their loan payments for up to 3 months —oftentimes longer—at no charge. Together they have processed nearly 2,812 payment extensions for over $74 million dollars in loans over the past two months.
● Short term loan modification and extensions were made available to borrowers with personal loans.
● Temporarily suspended loan foreclosures for 60 days.
● Established 241 small dollar emergency loans to mimic direct deposit paychecks for borrowers who were facing unexpected hardship due to loss of income.
● Funds to support individuals with food, rental, and utility relief.

In addition, the CDFIs quickly moved to deploy Payment Protection Program (PPP) loans for small businesses and nonprofits. Together, they have worked to secure over $15.9 million in loans for 387 local small businesses and nonprofits. Many of these businesses and organizations were unable to access PPP funds through traditional banks.

The Pandemic Diaries: Redefined

The Pandemic Diaries was a weekly reflection penned by individual Justine PETERSEN staff members in the style of journaling, chronicling the daily reality of working from home in the wake of Covid-19.  In light of us fighting the long entrenched pandemic of structural racism and inequality, the series will now include diary submissions reflecting on what it means to live in a world that is unjust, and what can and should be done for “cultural course correction.” This week’s diary entry is written by Solomon Chandler, Portfolio Manager at Justine PETERSEN.  

These are unprecedented times and challenges from the pandemic, the political divisiveness, and the civil unrest as it relates to the struggle for equity.

I see all of those issues as an opportunity for us to grow as a nation, a community and as the only race that exists.  THE HUMAN RACE.

I have not lost faith and I am determined to do my part to be a vessel for change, by being more understanding, patient, persistent, consistent and decisive in my everyday life!!

None of this is as easy as it sounds, however the price of failure will touch us all.