Meda, the 45-year-old counselor and lender that works with minority-owned businesses, will get an assist from Target to move from downtown to the new Thor Companies headquarters when it opens at Plymouth and Penn Avenues N. in the spring of 2018.
Target, a Meda supporter, is providing up to $2 million to build out Meda’s office space and provide a rental subsidy for the first seven years.
Meda CEO Gary Cunningham indicated that move also represents Meda and Target’s focus on expanding minority small businesses.
Target said in January at ground breaking it would be a investor in Thor’s $36 million, 92,000-square foot project, but didn’t specify details.
“The Target-Meda partnership will allow us to move from incremental to transformational growth,” Cunningham said. “In Minnesota, there are 47,000-plus businesses of color. We estimate that 10-to-15 percent have growth potential. Our goal is to triple the number of successful minority businesses over the next five years.”
Last year, Meda said it loaned $6.6 million, along with bank partners that loaned $14.8 million, to 86 minority-owned firms that projected adding 1,343 jobs that pay an average of $22 per hour. Nonprofit Meda typically bridges the financial gap for a promising business that may not meet financial-underwriting standards.
For example, several years ago Jade Logistics, a freight shipper, was struggling. Meda consulted, helped Jade clean up accounting issues, add customers and provided supplemental financing after Beacon Bank offered a line of credit that didn’t fully meet the need. The 16-employee company last year was profitable on revenue of $7 million.