KeyBank Business Boost & Build Program, Powered By JumpStart, Awards $100,000 To Excelsior Growth Fund And Westminster Economic Development Initiative

Program will celebrate National Small Business Week by awarding grants across Upstate New York to help economic development organizations connect with small businesses in underrepresented communities

The KeyBank Business Boost & Build program, powered by JumpStart, is celebrating the start of National Small Business Week by awarding $100,000 to Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) and the Buffalo-based Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI).

EGF promotes economic development and job creation by providing streamlined access to small business loans and business advisory services. WEDI works to empower Buffalo’s economically disadvantaged through economic development, community development and education.

“We are excited about our collaboration with Excelsior Growth Fund and JumpStart through KeyBank Business Boost & Build’s financial support,” said Ben Bissell, Executive Director of WEDI. “Through this assistance, our organizations will be able to provide a full continuum of service, starting with training and capitalizing minority- and women-led microenterprises with microloans. Then, Excelsior Growth Fund will help them and other businesses to scale up to be viable, sustaining and successful companies through small business loans and advisory services. The funding will lead the organizations to serve hundreds of additional entrepreneurs, who will start and expand companies that create local jobs. Buffalo’s business ecosystem continues to grow through this investment in its future.”

With this new funding, the two collaborators will deepen their existing partnership and together will offer a full range of loan options, from $500 to $500,000, to minority and women owned business enterprises (MWBEs) in the City of Buffalo.

Startup assistance and smaller loans will be handled by WEDI. EGF will focus on larger loans and associated advisory services. Both partners will also hold a series of collaborative educational workshops for minority and women owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

“Supporting small businesses and helping them thrive is central to KeyBank’s mission,” added Buford Sears, KeyBank Western New York Market President. “We are proud to be assisting two great organizations, WEDI and EGF, as they expand their efforts to help more women and minority business owners capitalize on the economic renaissance that is underway in Buffalo.”

Today’s event is one of four being organized in cities throughout Upstate New York (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany) to announce funding to local organizations from the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program.

Funded by a grant from the KeyBank Foundation in 2017, the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program is designed to stimulate economic growth in Ohio and Upstate New York by helping startups and small businesses grow and prepare the workforce for the needs of those companies.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs interested in learning more about the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program can visit


About JumpStart Inc.
JumpStart unlocks the full potential of diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs to economically transform entire communities. For more information, follow @JumpStartInc on Twitter.

About KeyCorp
KeyCorp’s roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $137.0 billion at March 31, 2018. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, insurance, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,200 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC.

About Westminster Economic Development Initiative
Westminster Economic Development Initiative’s (WEDI) mission is to empower economically disadvantaged people in Buffalo, NY, with a primary focus on the West Side community. We believe that empowered people can transform their community. The Westminster Presbyterian Church founded WEDI in 2006 to improve the quality of life for the residents of Buffalo’s West Side. In 2015, WEDI expanded its activity to the City of Buffalo. WEDI reduces barriers to success and opportunity through economic development, community building and education.

About Excelsior Growth Fund
Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) helps small businesses grow by providing streamlined access to business loans and advisory services. EGF’s signature product, the EGF SmartLoan™, provides up to $100,000 in fast, transparent, and affordable financing through a secure online platform. Larger loans up to $500,000 are also available. EGF is a nonprofit organization and is certified by U.S. Department of Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Learn more at As an affiliate of New York Business Development Corporation ( and The 504 Company (, EGF can also facilitate access to a full suite of alternative financing products.