Minority business owners nationwide still seeking funding through the Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) have a new ally in Midwest BankCentre, thanks to the cooperation of the bank’s chairman and CEO and one of the nation’s most successful black businessmen – both based in St. Louis.

Adrienne Trimble, president and CEO of the New York-based National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), recently surveyed its certified minority business enterprises and learned that more than 60% of those surveyed had not yet received PPP funding. So, Trimble started making calls.

“One of the first calls was to Dave Steward, chairman and founder of World Wide Technology, one of the largest African-American-owned businesses in America and the largest NMSDC-certified member,” Trimble said. “Dave then connected our organization to Midwest BankCentre’s chairman.”

Midwest BankCentre Chairman and CEO Orvin T. Kimbrough worked with Trimble to forge a partnership between the bank and the council’s Business Consortium Fund. “This collaboration is even more important given the current economic challenges impacting small businesses and, to a greater degree, minority-owned businesses,” Kimbrough said.

Midwest BankCentre is the St. Louis region’s second-largest locally owned bank with assets exceeding $2 billion. Kimbrough is the only black chairman or CEO of a local bank.

World Wide Technology, which Steward founded, had been the first NMSDC-certified firm to receive funding from its Business Consortium Fund and the first to repay the loan. 

G. Winston Smith, president and COO of the Business Consortium Fund, said they are now open for business for owners of minority business enterprises (MBEs) seeking PPP funds.

“Our staff is trained and ready to work with MBEs on their specific needs when it comes to accessing this critical funding,” Smith said. “We have created an efficient application process, and we are eager to work with Midwest BankCentre to break down barriers and facilitate MBE access to the PPP funds.”

According to Trimble, the Small Business Association has confirmed that there is more than $90 billion remaining in available PPP funding.

Minority business owners wishing to pursue PPP funding through the partnership between Midwest BankCentre and the Business Consortium Fund should visit www.bcfcapital.com/ppp-disclosure.

For more information on NMSDC, visit www.NMSDC.org.

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