Northwestern Mutual Invests $5 Million in Black-Led Financial Institutions to Accelerate Local Community and Economic Development

Funding to increase access to capital for Black and African Americans
small business owners and entrepreneurs

MILWAUKEE, May 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — According to the Spotlight on Black Business Owners 2021, 56% of Black entrepreneurs said access to capital was a recurring barrier, often limiting their ability to grow their business. To help remove this barrier and further close the racial wealth gap in United StatesNorthwestern Mutual today announced a $5 million investment in two black-led businesses, Milwaukeecommunity development financial institutions (CDFIs). The company will partner with Legacy Redevelopment Corporation (LRC) and Northwest Side Community Development Corporation (NWSCDC) to increase access to capital for Black and African American businesses, fueling small business growth and economic vitality in the Milwaukee community.

Mutual of the North-West. (PRNewsFoto/Northwestern Mutual)

“Northwestern Mutual has a heritage of investing in the communities we proudly serve, especially in our hometown of Milwaukee,” mentioned Ray Manista, executive vice president and chief legal and compliance officer of the company. “Black and African American business owners, for a variety of reasons, have had limited access to traditional capital markets, and this latest investment will deepen our mission to make bold, long-term impact that drives access and growth. ‘equity.”

Northwestern Mutual’s investment is the result of Sustained Action for Racial Equity (SARE) working group, which launched a $100 million impact fund which directs investments to Black and African American communities nationwide. The fund focuses on three key opportunities: building physical and social infrastructure, improving access to capital, and creating healthy and sustainable neighborhoods and communities.

The racial wealth gap in the United States is significant, and this inequality is particularly evident among Milwaukee Black residents. Black-owned businesses are being denied loans at twice the rate of their counterparts. Without the ability to access capital, businesses in underserved communities are often unable to secure the resources they need to build capacity and plan for growth.

In Milwaukee, where traditional black-run banks are not available, CDFIs aim to fill that void. Northwestern Mutual’s investment will provide existing operating businesses with the financial solutions needed to continue to grow and expand. CDFIs combine financing with business education, one-on-one technical assistance and credit structures to both mitigate investment risk and support business success to enable small businesses to be more ready for the future. bank.

LRC, led by the President and CEO Therese Carois the only US Treasury-certified CDFI specializing in housing and commercial real estate in Milwaukee, providing strategic financial solutions to small businesses and nonprofits in the city’s underserved markets. NWSCDC, led by the Executive Director Willie Smithis based on Milwaukee Northwest Side and works with businesses to build stronger neighborhoods, create economic growth and encourage urban environmental improvements. Both CDFIs actively invest in local businesses in manufacturing, commercial and residential real estate, retail, restaurants, adult homes, hospitality, technology and transportation.

“We are thrilled to partner with Northwestern Mutual and provide much-needed loans to local Black and African American-owned businesses,” Caro said. “This partnership will change the trajectory of the LRC and NWSCDC in terms of what we can do and the communities we can impact.”

Through Northwestern Mutual’s SARE Task Force, the company has invested in Black and African American communities where significant racial disparities exist. He launched the Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator, a partnership with gener8tor, in 2020 to invest in and support black entrepreneurs to help close the black founder funding gap. Through the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, the company has also donated more than $28 million for Milwaukee Amani underserved, Metcalfe Park and Muskego Way to promote safer communities, revitalize housing, increase access to quality education, food programs, youth and family resources, and more.

About SARE

Sustained Action for Racial Equity (SARE) is Northwestern Mutual’s dedicated workgroup, led by the Chairman, President and CEO John Schlifskewhich takes a holistic look at the actions that will have the greatest impact in driving lasting change.

About Northwestern Mutual

North West Mutual helping individuals and businesses achieve financial security for over 165 years. Through a holistic planning approach, Northwestern Mutual combines the expertise of its finance professionals with a personalized digital experience and industry-leading products to help its clients plan for what matters most. With over $570 billion in the combined company and customer assets, $34 billion in revenue, and $2.1 trillion with in-force life insurance protection, Northwestern Mutual provides financial security to nearly five million people through life, disability and long-term care insurance, annuities, and services brokerage and advice. Northwestern Mutual ranked 90th on the 2021 FORTUNE 500 and was recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance companies in 2022.

Northwestern Mutual is the trading name of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, Wis. (life and disability insurance, annuities and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (Investment Brokerage Services), Broker, Registered Investment Adviser, Member FINRA and SIPC; Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC) (investment advisory and services), federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company (NLTC) (long term care insurance). Not all representatives of Northwestern Mutual are advisers. Only representatives whose title includes the term “advisor” or who otherwise disclose their status as an adviser to NMWMC are accredited as representatives of NMWMC to provide investment advice services.

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SOURCE North West Mutual

Marianne R. Winn