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Microsoft in your community

Helping to provide affordable small business loans in Virginia and Texas for an equitable COVID-19 recovery

With vaccinations underway and US businesses increasingly cleared to reopen, small businesses and nonprofits devastated by COVID-19 can begin to put the pieces back together. The Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund is here to lend a hand in the recovery. Microsoft has partnered with community finance organizations to provide flexible, affordable working capital and advisory resources to southern and southeastern businesses, with a focus on those underserved by traditional lenders.

SOAR logo

The SOAR Fund targets businesses hardest hit by the pandemic. Eligibility requirements are simple—small businesses and nonprofits qualify if they have experienced direct economic disruption as a result of COVID-19 shutdowns, have fewer than 50 full-time employees, and less than $5 million in annual revenue. Please review the full eligibility requirements for more information.

SOAR is dedicated to funding an equitable COVID-19 recovery by matching applicants with one of thirteen participating Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs are mission-driven lenders that serve small businesses historically excluded from financing, including those in low-income and rural communities and businesses owned by women, Black and African Americans, Hispanic and Latinx Americans, Indigenous Peoples, and veterans.

Map of SOAR

“We’re pleased to partner and invest in the Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund with the goal to increase access to capital and support for underserved community businesses and nonprofits,” says Tahreem Kampton, Corporate Treasurer at Microsoft. “Microsoft is committed to addressing racial injustice in our society, ecosystems, and communities. Many small businesses across the country and in our southern and southeastern states have struggled economically due to COVID-19. We are glad to support this collaborative effort to help provide opportunities in communities that have been historically underserved.”

Sign up on the SOAR Fund site for the pre-application to screen for basic eligibility. All organizations that meet the three eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply. SOAR will match applicants with the appropriate CDFI funding partner. For more information on the program, consult Frequently Asked Questions.