Racial equity firm funds restaurant and adult day care

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Rende Progress Capital selected a restaurant and an adult day care business to receive loans from its RACE4Progress COVID-19 small business relief fund.

The Grand Rapids-based racial equity lender said last week that its RPC loan committee met Dec. 10 and approved a pair of applicants to receive loans from its RACE4Progress fund for Kent County excluded entrepreneurs who have experienced financial harm due to the impact of COVID-19.

The firm selected Emonae Korean BBQ restaurant, at 6246 28th St. SE in Cascade Township, and A Grand Rapids Senior Social Exchange and Adult Day Care, at 3212 Eastern Ave. SE in Grand Rapids, as its next loan recipients.

Eric Foster Courtesy Rende Progress Capital

Eric Foster, co-founder, chair and managing director of RPC, said “while (standard lending) has moved intermittently amid this environment,” RPC is still reviewing applicants for its racial equity small business loan products.

“Although the COVID-19 environment creates continued needs to provide relief to businesses of color experiencing financial harm due to the pandemic, it is good that we can provide lending to businesses who have pivoted and are experiencing good conditions that allow for growth,” he said.

Emonae Korean BBQ

Founded in 2016 and owned by Myong Yoon Holloway, Emonae Korean BBQ demonstrated “need of support amid the pandemic, resiliency and pivoting to meet the challenges of COVID-19,” RPC said. Some members of the RPC loan committee said they could “attest to Myong’s perseverance and passion in her work,” as they visited Emonae for a lunch meeting last month.

Specializing in authentic Korean cuisine and barbecue “with a lot of Seoul in Grand Rapids,” Emonae Korean BBQ serves Korean delicacies, soups, vegetarian and tofu and barbecue meals via dining (when permitted) and online ordering.

The RACE4Progress loan will allow Emonae to meet rent/occupancy and utility obligations and replenish food inventory, RPC said.

More information about Emonae is available on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

A Grand Rapids Senior Social Exchange and Adult Day Care

Jodie Robertson, owner of A Grand Rapids Senior Social Exchange and Adult Day Care Courtesy Rende Progress Capital

Owned by Jodie Robertson and founded in 2018, A Grand Rapids Senior Social Exchange and Adult Day Care is another RACE4Progress loan customer.

As the only business in RPC’s portfolio that is in the service space of mental health and wellness for vulnerable populations, A Grand Rapids Senior Social Exchange and Adult Day Care supports Grand Rapids-area senior citizens with social, behavioral, medical and financial services. In addition, the business provides on-site services, activities and events to seniors while their families and caregivers are attending to errands and other obligations.

The National Institute of Aging estimates 8.5% of the world’s population in 2015 comprised geriatrics, roughly 617 million people, which will rise to over 1.6 billion by the end of 2050 and account for nearly 17% of the world’s population, RPC said.

Because A Grand Rapids Senior Social Exchange and Adult Day Care is operating in a market where the demand for adult day care is projected to grow through 2024, RPC said it is important to ensure the business has an opportunity to survive the pandemic and thrive after it.

The RACE4Progress loan will allow the business to meet rent/occupancy and utilities obligations and leverage working capital to support operations and unexpected expenses for the business during COVID-19.

More information about A Grand Rapids Senior Social Exchange and Adult Day Care Center is available online or by calling (616) 591-2908.

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