Grants help fuel business growth in Fresno

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 06:57PM

At Heartbeat Boxing near Downtown Fresno, there’s no shortage of quick feet, fast punches and passion.

“November was our three-year anniversary, we’re just looking to build out business bigger and stronger,” said Gilbert Ruiz, Heartbeart boxing owner

Owner Gilbert Ruiz is proud of the facility growth at Los Angeles and Van Ness. He’s also had some business help from small business advocates and experts from Access Plus Capital.

“They’ve just been a big coach in starting our business from our business plan to projecting where our business is going to go to secure loans and future loans, because we are growing, we are growing very rapidly.” Ruiz said.

Recently, Access Plus Capital was awarded a Go-Biz grant from the Governor’s office, which gave out $17 million statewide.

Access Plus Capital received more than 100,000. About 70 percent of loans given out are to minority owned businesses.

“It’s going to help us expand our support to businesses, especially on the pre-loan side. We work with businesses at no cost to the businesses to help them with their business plan or marketing or finance. It’s going to allow us to do more support particularly to small businesses in our rural communities,” said Tate Hill, Access Plus Capital senior manager.

Access Plus also received another major national grant from Chase Bank and the Central Valley Community Foundation called Pro Neighborhoods.

The $5 million grant will help support small businesses in a variety of ways, but to support neighborhoods with housing and small business development. About $2.5 million will be lent out and focused in urban areas.

“Impacting low-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods that have been environmentally and economically challenged,” Hill said.

Companies that are interested in the funding and resources can reach out to Access Plus Capital. Officials say programs like this help boost business in the Valley.

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