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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

Local equity lending firm make their first loan to Reliable Medical Transport

Michelle Jokisch Polo

It was 2014, and Richard Flowers was working as a sales person.

“I was between a rock and a hard place. I had zero capital and bad credit. I just had an idea.” 

The idea Flowers had in mind, today is known as Reliable Medical Transport. A non emergency medical transportation company that transports individuals with mobility issues to various types of appointments.

“When we first started in November I'm sorry October of 2015 was my first transport and I did one trip in the month of October the next month in November I did eleven for the whole month and then for December I did 53. In January of 2016 I did 97 for the whole month.”

After being in business for three and a half years Flowers says he knew he was ready to take his business to the next level, but he needed access to capital – which led him to Eric Foster.  Foster runs Rende Progress Capital, RPC for short, a community development financial institution that Foster says is committed to economic equity. 

“African-Americans and Latino business owners on average face loan denials at 42% percent more than their white counterparts at 12% percent.”

The statistic Foster cites comes from data gathered from the Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency. 

“I felt like I was able to take it to this level and I couldn't go any more unless I had capital.”

After what Flowers calls, a seamless process, he was awarded $250,000 dollars thanks to a collaboration with RPC and Northern Initiatives, another Michigan based lender.

Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News. 

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