TCF Bank pledges $1 billion in loans to small businesses owned by women and minorities

The TCF Bank is pledging to make a $1 billion loan commitment to minority and women-owned small businesses, as part of the company's original promise to do more to uplift citizens of color in the city.

The massive infusion of money is will be offered as small business loans of up to $1 million to each company. The money will be offered across regions where the bank, which completed a merger with Chemical Bank in 2019 to be the state's largest bank, is located. In addition to Detroit, that includes Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago, Cleveland, and Grand Rapids. 

"While small businesses drive the economy and are the backbone of our neighborhoods, minority-owned and women-owned small businesses have historically had a more difficult time obtaining loans than their white and male counterparts. We recognize the crucial need for change, and as a bank committed to strengthening individuals, businesses, and communities, we are inspired to help these business owners create wealth and pursue their dreams," said TCF Executive Chairman Gary Torgow.

Residents might recall a promise that Detroit's nine biggest companies made weeks ago in the wake of large protests against police brutality and institutional racism. CEOs from car companies, health care systems, land developers, and banks all verbalized their commitment to root out systemic racism and invest money to reduce those disparities.

Thursday's announcement form Torgow is the first tangible promise that Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has secured from the businesses that made an appearance on June 3.

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Additionally, TCF Bank will also start a $10 million grant program to help low-to-moderate-income home buyers. The Heart and Home program will offer grants up to $3,000 to help cover closing costs for people making up to 80% of the area median income. The bank wants to fund 750 grants by the end of 2020.

"When people own their homes, it builds the neighborhood, provides stabilization and strengthens the community. We recognize that access to funds for a down payment is the single largest hurdle to home ownership, and our hope is this grant will provide a pathway to home ownership for more people," said CEO Craig Dahl.

The business loans will still be subject to the same requirements that any business loan must meet. However, loans aren't restricted to brick-and-mortar businesses and will also be available to those that operate online or elsewhere. 

It's not clear how the $1 billion will be divided up among the cities where TCF is based. The executive chairman cited the placement of the bank's new headquarters in Detroit as a driving reason it serviced more than half of its Payment Personal Protection loans in Michigan.

Torgow said the systems for applying for a loan will be available soon.