JPMorgan Chase and the Valley Economic Development Centers have jointly created the National African American Small Business Loan Fund that will offer short- and long-term loans to businesses in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York from $35,000 to $250,000.

Described by VEDC as the fastest growing segment of the small business population, African American entrepreneurs who seek the loans must have been in business for at least two years; and the firm must be 51 percent or more owned by African Americans, have no more than 200 employees; and use the proceeds for cash flow needs or to provide contractor lines of credit.

Eligible businesses can be in any industry and in addition to the financing, recipients can receive technical assistance such as networking, marketing, business plan development and financial consulting.

Interested business owners in the three cities can contact VEDC at (212) 231-4310.