Business loan

Amazon partners with Lendistry to expand its small business loan program

Amazon is rolling out a small business lending platform in partnership with Lendistry, with plans to lend more than $150 million over the next three years to support urban and rural small businesses.

The official launch follows a year-long pilot of the Amazon Community Lending program. The two companies say they hope to provide short-term loans to Amazon sellers in “socially and economically challenged” communities for purposes such as inventory expansion, brand building and staffing costs. Amazon Community Lending has lent more than $35 million to more than 800 small businesses selling products on Amazon since the pilot launched last fall.

Lendistry, a community development financial institution, can provide loans through the program of $10,000 to $250,000 with terms of up to five years for sellers to grow their business in Amazon’s US store.

“When Amazon came to us with the idea for the Amazon Community Loan Program, we knew it would make a meaningful difference for small businesses that need responsible capital to grow,” said Lendistry CEO Everett. K. Sands, in a prepared statement.

Tai Koottatep, director and general manager of Amazon B2B Payments and Lending, said in a prepared statement that the program was developed to provide sellers with capital and education, giving borrowers access to Lendistry’s coaching resources and at Amazon Seller University and the Small Business Academy.

Colsen, a Miami-based company that sells products such as shower filters, extension cords and food bags, was one of the borrowers under the pilot program. Co-owner Armando Colimodio said in a prepared statement that Colsen plans to double sales this year and expand its product portfolio.

“At Colsen, we have big ambitions to grow the business, but a need for capital to facilitate that was critical,” Colidio said. “By working with Amazon Community Lending, we’ve been able to invest in our business and expand our product selection through the program’s quick and easy loan approval process.”

Talisha Bekavac, executive vice president of US Black Chambers, said in a prepared statement that Amazon Community Lending provides Black-owned businesses with responsible financing options, with affordable and competitive pricing. Amazon also offers the Black Business Accelerator to provide financial and strategic assistance to black business owners.

The Seattle e-commerce titan has provided loans to small businesses, which account for more than half of all units sold in Amazon’s store, through Amazon Lending for 11 years. Since April 2020, Amazon and its third-party lending partners have lent more than $800 million to US small and medium businesses.