Magazine article Black Enterprise

It's in the Card

Magazine article Black Enterprise

It's in the Card

Article excerpt

American Express launches the Community Business Card

Everyone dreams. But not everyone dreams of starting their own business. Unfortunately for this special group of entrepreneurs and small business owners, these dreams turn all too often into nightmares because of lack of capital to purchase essential equipment and needed supplies to keep the venture going.

Suddenly the door to opportunity is slammed shut--banks deny you the chance to make a difference in your life and your community. They turn you down for loans and lines of credit. This familiar dilemma has you scrambling and frantically searching for a solution.

Don't give up just yet! Turn on your computer and log on to the American Express (AmEx) Community Business Website ( allbusiness/communitybusiness/splash .asp?). On April 17, 2001, AmEx launched a new source of funding for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to start and grow their companies.

At the very core of this program is the new AmEx Community Business Credit Card. Designed for microenterprises with fewer than five employees and a capital need of less than $35,000 a year, the card works like this: each time the business owner uses the card, AmEx will contribute 1% of that purchase to one of three select Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDO), which in turn provide loans and technical assistance to the microenterprise requesting the capital.

The MDO ACCION (www.accion .org/main.asp) provides small loans and training to help low-income business owners climbing the ladder to success. …

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