The Liberty Project

Growing businesses owned by Black and African-Americans in Seattle at a rate equal to their representation in the population.

02232023 Sm Biz Resilience Network.pdf



  • The SBRL goes beyond traditional loan programs by addressing specific barriers faced by underserved communities. This includes complex applications, credit history limitations, lack of documentation, language barriers, and a potential distrust of existing financial systems.


  • The SBRL leverages the Small Business Resiliency Network (SBRN) and its credit union partners. These trusted organizations can help navigate the application process, build trust with potential borrowers, and ensure the program reaches those who need it most.


  • The SBRL aims for long-term success by offering the Credit Building Pilot Program alongside loans. This empowers borrowers to build or improve their credit history, positioning them for future financial opportunities.
Black Business
1.5 %
Black Population
7.9 %

Learn More

The SBRL may be a good fit for the business if the business:

  • Is able to pay their current financial commitments and repay the loan
  • Has already been working with a Small Business Resiliency Network Partner
  • Has cash only and does not use any banking services
  • Has been unable to access loans in the past
  • Has limited or low household income
  • Has a low credit score or no credit history


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Business Development

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Eligibility Overview

qApplicants must be entrepreneur or small businesses negatively
affected by the pandemic
qEntrepreneurs/small businesses should have fewer than the equivalent to 20 full-time employees.
qApplicants must possess identification and must have or be in the process of obtaining a federal Uniform Entity Identification (UEI).
qAll applicants must apply through an SBRN partner for the completion of the application process.


Education systems and institutions that incubate and accelerate businesses are not producing a sufficient number of skilled entrepreneurs and business owners of color that enable POC-owned businesses to reach revenue equity.


Through an interlocking set of factors including regulations, underwriting guidelines, historic redlining, gaps in family wealth, and networks, businesses owned by POC face systemic barriers to securing debt and equity financing.


The structure and practice of corporate and government procurement systems produce barriers to accessing contracting opportunities for businesses owned by POC. At the consumer level, accessing clients through online and brick-and-mortar channels present such barriers. Rent costs in high-income communities and lack of access to appropriate distribution channels limit the POC business owners’ ability to reach consumers with significant disposable income.

In Partnership With

UW Foster School logo

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Seattle U logo

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City of Seattle OED logo

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