(L-R) Raymond Guthrie, chief investment officer and head of capital deployment for Momentus Capital and Matt Bergantino, vice president of procurement for Macy’s

By Megan Sayles,
AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
msayles@afro.com

D.C.-based Momentus Capital, a nonprofit, mission-driven financial services organization, and leading department store Macy’s, are working together to invest in diverse-led suppliers. 

The pair recently launched S.P.U.R. Pathways: Shared Purpose, Unlimited Reach (S.P.U.R. Pathways), a multiyear funding program that seeks to help diverse-owned and underrepresented businesses grow their operations, overcome systemic and financial barriers and close wealth gaps between them and their counterparts. 

The program will offer a variety of financing and investment solutions, including growth capital and loans for working capital and commercial real estate. The collaboration is expected to contribute nearly $200 million to diverse-owned businesses. 

“We have been working on our supplier diversity efforts for well over 10 years now, and one of the things that we have really come to understand is the challenge of the access to capital for the suppliers that we work with, as well as for the ones that we want to work with in the future,” said Matt Bergantino, vice president of procurement for Macy’s. “We really saw that as the linchpin for growing our diverse suppliers.” 

Matt Bergantino is the vice president of procurement for Macy’s. The retail chain has announced a program with Momentus Capital to deploy millions of dollars to diverse-owned businesses.

Macy’s wanted to collaborate with a partner that would provide wraparound support with the investments that suppliers received through the program. 

The Momentus Capital branded family of companies includes Capital Impact partners, a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that supports underestimated groups; CDC Small Business Finance, a leading and mission-based small business lender; and Venture Lending Technologies, the organization’s proprietary loan processing and portfolio management tool. 

The family of organizations work together to provide innovative solutions and equitable capital to nonprofits, small businesses and developers, helping them to advance their missions and enterprises. 

“One of our pathways for growth is by working with aligned partners, like Macy’s, to help increase our access to small businesses, particularly diverse small businesses,” said Raymond Guthrie, chief investment officer and head of capital deployment for Momentus Capital. “One of the biggest gaps we see is that many small businesses don’t even know organizations like us exist.” 

Raymond Guthrie is the chief investment officer and head of capital deployment for Momentus Capital, a nonprofit financial services organization in Washington, D.C. The organization joined with Macy’s to make more small businesses and developers aware of its capital and business advising services.

As part of S.P.U.R. Pathways, Macy’s will invest $20 million into its supplier access fund and $10 million into Momentus Capital’s impact investments. 

Overall, the impact investments are expected to deploy $100 million in capital to support diverse-led and underrepresented start-ups. Momentus Capital’s loan program is also projected to provide up to $100 million in capital to businesses at various stages of growth. 

Aside from financial capital, Macy’s and Momentus Capital will also provide suppliers with knowledge and social capital. 

They will have access to The Workshop at Macy’s, the retail industry’s longest-running vendor development program for minority- and women-owned businesses. It provides participants with education on identifying a target market, best business practices, cultivating a brand identity, financing and conducting business performance analyses. 

Momentus Capital will give suppliers access to its business advisors who will continue to work with them even after they receive funding. 

In anticipation of a recession in 2023, Guthrie said marginalized groups will have an even greater need for lending opportunities. Through S.P.U.R. Pathways, he said he hopes Momentus Capital and Macy’s can establish a scalable way to support the growth and success of diverse suppliers.  

“We’re demonstrating the big opportunity that the majority of the financial institutions are missing, which is that hard-working diverse suppliers that go through up and down economic cycles pull themselves up by the bootstraps without any real access to the traditional financing that their competitors have, and they are wildly successful,” said Guthrie. “What a lot of businesses want to do is diversify their supply chain, and we’re demonstrating how they can do that in an effective and scalable way.”

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