The Hartford Commits $16M To Support Small Business Success

06.12.2014
Small Business

Program kicks off with national partnerships with Accion and Junior Achievement to benefit 500 small businesses and 100,000 youth

CBIA member The Hartford announced last week that it has committed $16 million over five years to help small business owners succeed through its new Communities with HART initiative. The first two

investments include $1.25 million to the Accion U.S. Network to benefit 500 small businesses and $1.5 million to Junior Achievement USA (JA) to support 100,000 students.

Communities with HART will encourage the well-being of America’s communities by enabling today’s small businesses to grow and inspiring a new generation of small business leaders. Together with Accion,

The Hartford will provide loans and training to small businesses that lack access to traditional sources of capital. In partnership with JA, The Hartford will be the title sponsor of its flagship JA

Company Program, helping to inspire the students of today to become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

“The Hartford is passionate about helping small businesses prevail,” said The Hartford’s Chairman, President and CEO Liam E. McGee. “Communities with HART will benefit small business owners and inspire

would-be entrepreneurs to achieve their full potential. As a leading and trusted provider of insurance for more than one million small businesses nationally, we and our partners know how important

successful entrepreneurs are to a strong economy and vibrant local communities. We are determined to help small businesses succeed by providing access to the funding and knowledge they need.”

Communities with HART is based on the premise that neighborhood businesses are the heart of healthy and vibrant local communities, yet these business owners often lack access to traditional loans. The

ability to obtain financing can help them thrive.

In fact, according to Accion’s 2013 microTracker survey, Accion clients who received loans in 2011 report:

Sustainable businesses: 97 percent remained open one-year post-loan.

Employment opportunities: On average, businesses with employees report that they sustain or create nearly five jobs per business.

Income Generation: 47 percent said that their income from their small business met or exceeded expectations.

Desire to grow: 75 percent borrowed to grow or stabilize business operations.

“Accion’s partnership with The Hartford allows us to provide loans to small businesses that have the potential to make a positive difference in their communities,” said Gina Harman, CEO of the Accion

U.S. Network. “Across the U.S., there are small business owners in the U.S. who can’t access traditional loans to grow their businesses due to a lack of training and education, unavailability of small

loans, or a short business track record. With support from Communities with HART, these obstacles can be overcome.”

Accion will manage the Communities with HART loan process, focusing on community-oriented businesses in low- and moderate-income areas that hire and source locally, deliver social value and make a

positive difference in their neighborhoods.

During the initial phase of Communities with HART, The Hartford and Accion will focus on four markets: Chicago, Hartford, San Antonio and San Diego. As the initiative expands, the lending opportunities

will be extended nationwide by the third year of the partnership.

In addition to increased access to capital, businesses will also have the opportunity to receive training and financial resources. As part of these efforts, business owners will also have access to The

Hartford’s Business Owner’s Playbook, which is available free-of-charge to all business owners and features new, engaging content that provides valuable knowledge to aspiring and existing business

leaders.

Business owners interested in learning more about Communities with HART can visit https://us.accion.org/give-back/hartford for more information and to apply.

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