Knight Foundation invests $1.5 million in NewTown Macon

The money will help distribute loans and provide entrepreneurial training to women and communities of color.

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Money from the Knight Foundation will help NewTown Macon distribute loans and provide entrepreneurial training to women and communities of color.

The Knight Foundation invested $1.5 million into NewTown Macon. $1 million will go to the Godsey Initiatives Fund. The other $500,000 will go to NewTown loans for operating costs.

Bethany Rogers is the Executive Director for NewTown Loans. She announced two weeks ago NewTown Loans became Middle Georgia’s first certified Community Development Financial Institution. She says as a CDFI, they will have access to more loan funds through gifts from the U.S. Treasury. Rogers also says because of the gifts they have recently received, NewTown can expand to other areas of Macon.

“We are working now in neighborhoods like Pleasant Hill, Fort Hill, East Macon, Tindall Heights,” Rogers said.

Rogers says they’re working to close the racial and gender wealth gap in the county.

“One of our target markets are women entrepreneurs and minority entrepreneurs who haven’t had access to those resources,” said Rogers. “Or simply to financing in the past that we are here to fill that gap that otherwise there’s really no other lender who’s currently doing that work in Macon-Bibb.”

Lynn Murphey, Program Director for the Knight Foundation, says they hope to see more small businesses open in downtown Macon owned by women and people of color.

“We’re looking for businesses to grow in downtown Macon,” Murphey said. “We’re very interested in ensuring that locals equally participate in the success of downtown.”

Ricardo Cordew, the Business Consultant for NewTown Loans, hopes to reach people who would never have been able to see their dreams come true.

“To have that family who’s struggling and then all of a sudden they have an idea or concept and they actually make it viable to give back to the community. To help local boys and girls be able to put something in their hands and be in a safe place, that’s the goal,” Cordew said.

If you’re interested in working with NewTown Loans:

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