In 2016 the U.S. unemployment rate dropped below 5% for the first time in ten years, real incomes rose slightly for the first time in decades, and social impact investing finally entered the mainstream. Yet almost half of American workers are stuck in low-wage jobs at places like strip malls and fast food restaurants, the number of small businesses are at all-time lows, and race or where you’re born are the biggest factors for financial success in life. It’s a tale of two Americas, where far too many workers and communities are being left behind.
Pacific Community Ventures is strengthening communities by empowering American small business, by championing higher-quality jobs, by fueling equity and opportunity, and by helping impact investors deploy more capital—more effectively—to economically underserved communities from coast to coast. In 2016, we supported more small businesses than ever before (a 66% jump) and we’re now in all 50 states!
PCV business advisors volunteered 2600 hours – that’s $520,000 worth of free advice and coaching! We expanded our small business “loan + advice” program to include microloans ($10,000–$50,000) and lent $2,000,000 to California small businesses who were turned down by the traditional financial system. Our InSight team evaluated $30 billion in social impact investments across areas like climate solutions, affordable housing, gender equality, sustainable supply chains and healthy food access. We provided 379 small businesses with access to capital and mentorship. The small businesses we worked with created and maintained 2,359 jobs: our companies had a staggering 44% job growth — surpassing national (1.7%) and state (2.6%) rates, and an average 20% revenue growth (vs 7% for comparable small businesses).