Fund Allows Minority Entrepreneurs To Do More Than Dream: “There’s So Much I Could Do”

By Jerry Siebenmark
The Wichita Eagle

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Raquel Ramirez could be among the first to receive a low-interest loan from a new fund aimed at helping local small businesses grow. The “Create Capital Fund” aims to provide loans of between $2,500 and $25,000 specifically to minority owned businesses.

The Wichita Eagle

Raquel Ramirez opened the Lunchbox restaurant downtown more than two years ago, and now she’s ready to open a second location.

Her restaurant serves breakfast and lunch weekdays from its first-floor spot in the High Touch building at 110 S. Main. It also offers catering.

Most days, Ramirez is the restaurant’s only cook, server and cashier. But with plans for a second location — she signed a lease on a building at 11th and Bitting in the Riverside neighborhood recently — she’ll need more help.
And inventory.

Ramirez could be among the first to receive a low-interest loan from a new fund aimed at helping local small businesses grow. The Create Capital Fund, launched with a $25,000 grant from Fidelity Bank’s new Bravely Onward Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation, aims to provide loans of between $2,500 and $25,000 specifically to minority owned businesses.

“It means a lot,” she said of the Create fund. “There’s so much I could do that I can’t do without it.”

The Create fund will be administered by the Create Campaign, a nonprofit that provides services and support to minority entrepreneurs in Wichita and Kansas City.

Create Campaign president Christina Long said the fund is also intended to provide micro loans to minority entrepreneurs who might not otherwise have access to or qualify for a traditional bank loan.

“The money is geared toward equipment, inventory, things that to some entrepreneurs . . . can really make a difference, help propel their growth more quickly,” Long said.

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