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A new initiative is launching in Manchester to support businesses owned by people of color

Manchester NAACP President James McKim (left) and NH Community Loan Fund Community Business Lender Zachery Palmer in downtown Manchester.
Courtesy of Kelly Fletcher
Manchester NAACP President James McKim (left) and NH Community Loan Fund Community Business Lender Zachery Palmer.

The Manchester NAACP and the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund are working together on a pilot project to provide more support to businesses run by people of color.

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The initiative aims to increase technical assistance, training, and loans to businesses in the greater Manchester area.

“Some small businesses don't have relationships with a traditional bank and they don't know of or where to turn to for help in making businesses successful or sustainable,” explains Zachery Palmer, a community business lender at the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.

Palmer says many in Manchester’s growing immigrant and BIPOC communities have entrepreneurial backgrounds, and some are hoping to expand their businesses in the skilled trades, retail, and restaurant industries.

The team will work with a volunteer community business development council to identify potential businesses to receive loans and training, and to conduct outreach with non-English speakers.

“It is important for us to create a structure where those in the community drive how resources are applied in the community," said James T. McKim, the president of the Manchester NAACP.

Anyone interested in the program can contact Palmer at the Community Loan Fund.

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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