The mission and purpose of this council is to be comprised of individuals whose occupations or interests are focused on advancing and helping to create women-owned and minority-owned businesses in the Lehigh Valley. Previously a standing committee of LVEDC, the council will work on the business development of strategic initiatives to assist in business growth and development, education and training, and driving awareness about existing businesses and support services avaliable to grow and sustain businesses in this sector.
PMBDA offers low-interest loans to businesses that are owned and operated by minorities. There are minimal restrictions on the type of businesses that may apply for loans. Interest rates are one-half of prime but not less than 4 percent. Maximum loan amount is $500,000 or $750,000, depending upon whether the business is located in a targeted area and depending upon the nature of the business. PMBDA also operates a loan-guarantee program similar to PennCAPs but targeted toward the minority business community.
The study was commissioned by the Latino Economic Council (LEC) of LVEDC as part of a larger effort to increase the visibility and success of Latino business owners and professionals in the region. The Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Foundation, LVEDC, Air Products Foundation, Sovereign Bank and PPL provided the funding to launch and complete the study.