The Walton Family Foundation announced Monday that it is partnering with Southern Bancorp Community Partners to promote economic development in the Delta with a $750,000 investment.
The money will be used to provide $1.5 million in capital loans small businesses in Phillips County in Arkansas and Coahoma County in Mississippi.
Karen Minkel, Home Region Program director for the Walton Family Foundation, said in a news release, "This infusion of funds will help fill a critical gap in sustaining and growing these economic engines."
According to the Small Business Administration, the number of small-business loans decreased by 38 percent in Arkansas and by 63 percent in Mississippi, between 2000-13, the release states. It adds that lenders are reluctant to finance those businesses that need $100,000 or less in capital.
"For many businesses in the Delta, financial access has significantly decreased or disappeared," Southern Bancorp CEO Darrin Williams said in the release. "Our mission is to ensure this access exists in places that need it most, and this investment from the Walton Family Foundation will greatly enhance that ability."