Jacksonville Onslow Economic Development Partnership, Inc. (JOEDP) received a $100,000 grant on Wednesday from Truist Foundation to support racially and ethnically diverse and women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs in Jacksonville and Onslow County. Consistent with JOED’s top strategic objective of building economic development capacity, JOEDP’s Board of Directors recently established a committee to develop a revolving loan fund that would provide gap financing to local businesses. Gap, or non-profit, financing exists to provide businesses with debt capital that is beyond the ability of commercial lenders to provide. The Committee has created the new JOEDP Community Business Loan Fund and this grant from the Truist Foundation represents its initial seed capital.

JOED Executive Director Mark Sutherland remarks that “…this generous and substantial grant from Truist Foundation is impactful well beyond the singular award amount, as these seed funds will inevitably leverage the contribution of many more private and public sector dollars in support of the Loan Committee’s work. It is remarkable that Truist boldly stepped up to the plate, the first investor willing to capitalize the Business Loan Fund, enabling the Committee to immediately start deploying capital to small businesses in our community.”

Scott Riggs, Chairman of the Loan Fund Committee, states, “Having grown up in Onslow County, I am proud of the positive changes that have and continue to take place. As Onslow County and the surrounding area continues to experience economic growth, the need for additional funding sources for small businesses has also grown. With the opportunity to engage potential dynamic partners like Truist Foundation, to help increase access to capital resources for business owners regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender, we are opening doors that we trust will lead not only to greater opportunity of success for local small businesses, but also strengthen the fabric of our community.”

“At Truist, our purpose is to inspire and build better lives and communities. For communities like Onslow County, small businesses are a powerful and positive force—fueling employment, productivity, and economic growth and mobility,” said Terri Ashby, Onslow County Market President for Truist. “For women and people of color — who have been historically excluded from other means of wealth-building — small business ownership can be a path to prosperity. Truist Foundation is proud to help underserved small businesses succeed by providing access to financial support and the resources they need to thrive through the JOEDP Community Business Loan Fund.”

The Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. The Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. Learn more at Truist.com/Foundation.

L-R: Scott Riggs, JOEDP Community Business Loan Fund Chairman; Chris Isley, Truist Regional President; Terri Ashby, Truist Onslow County Market President; JOEDP Community Business Loan Fund Committee members Melissa Anderson, John Hunter, Cowanda Bazile, and Roy Herrick.

Truist grant award