Pascale Sykes Foundation commits $1M to help expand opportunities for Black business enterprises

Red Bank-based organization to partner with N.J. Community Capital and African American Chamber

In an effort to increase the availability of capital to Black business enterprises, the Red Bank-based Pascale Sykes Foundation is making $1 million available for low-interest loans through a donation to New Jersey Community Capital and the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.

Black business enterprises have historically faced challenges in the country. Through its $1 million investment in the Equitable Small Business Initiative, the Pascale Sykes Foundation feels it will help create opportunities for BBEs in New Jersey seeking access to resources and support to establish, sustain, augment or expand business operations, as well as those economically impacted by the pandemic.

The contribution will allow for pandemic relief loans ranging from $10,000-$75,000 and recovery loan sizes in yet-to-be-determined amounts. It came in response to a call to action last Spring by the Association of Black Foundation Executives, a philanthropic organization that advocates for transformative investing in Black communities.

Foundation President Fran Sykes said the call to action started a relationship between the foundation and the AACCNJ.

“We’re honored to support initiatives like this,” Sykes said. “As sole proprietorships and family-run businesses primarily define the Black business community, they often require nonconventional loans and business guidance for sustainable growth.

“In collaboration with the AACCNJ and NJCC in this capacity, we can directly affect family-owned and -operated businesses, be more inclusive and positively affect a greater number of people.”

In support of the wellbeing of the people and the businesses they operate, the Pascale Sykes Foundation champions the Whole Family Approach — a family-led strategy that provides families the tools they need to set goals together, create plans and achieve those goals. In accordance with this, the foundation is better able to assist families and, in turn, their economic and financial development to improve their communities overall.

AACCNJ founder and CEO John Harmon said he was thrilled by the foundation’s generosity.

“Especially as this integral segment of our nation’s economy is being devastated by the pandemic, the relief this provides could not come sooner,” he said. “I really believe it instills hope in so many.

“Although our work at NJCC has always been rooted in racial, economic and social justice, it is incumbent upon us to ask what more we can do to promote opportunity and equality.”

For additional information regarding loan programming inquiries, contact Phillip Woolfolk, senior loan administrator at the AACCNJ, at or 609-610-6310.