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Amerant’s Micro-Grant Program Continues to Support LiftFund’s Microbusiness Initiatives in Houston

After the successful launch of a pilot program during the pandemic, Amerant’s Micro-Grant program will continue to support recovery by providing financial assistance for microbusinesses and sole proprietors in Houston

August 23, 2021

Houston, TX  – After a successful launch of its Micro-Grant program in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amerant Bank, announces that it will continue to partner with LiftFund to support the organization’s microbusiness initiatives.

Amerant’s Micro-Grant program supported small businesses facing the economic challenges of the pandemic.

While a national business recovery is in process, there are still many sole proprietors and small businesses that simply do not have the financial wherewithal to move past their current difficulties. The Amerant Micro-Grant program is nimble, and able to work with LiftFund to provide support for those in need of nominal support to keep their business moving forward.

“Our community thrives on the success of literally thousands of small businesses, so we are delighted to continue our partnership with LiftFund in 2021,” said Francisco Rivero, EVP Texas Market President of Amerant Bank. “For many of these smaller organizations, the smallest burden can be devastating, so we are proud to continue supporting LiftFund’s efforts to help these companies stabilize and make their way through economic recovery.”

LiftFund is a designated community development financial institution (CDFI) in Houston that provides support and creates the means for small businesses, microenterprises, as well as nonprofit organizations to stabilize and become economically self-sufficient. With Amerant’s support, LiftFund continues to provide funding for select local micro and small businesses in the Greater Houston Area, a critical resource these businesses need to continue to operate.

“With Amerant’s continued support, we are providing the help and resources these microbusinesses need to recover and stay active in the Greater Houston area,” said, Michi Bruns Clay, Regional VP of Houston and East Texas for LiftFund. “We are very grateful to Amerant for their generous partnership. Many businesses have struggled to operate, so we are very pleased to be able to help provide the funding and support they need to stabilize and keep their businesses running.”

One of those businesses is Education and Hope, owned by Mercedes Centeno, an adult training school that provides job training and education to help students secure jobs in early childhood programs. The pandemic put a halt to the business, since the Certification courses offered by Education and Hope are typically held in person. Mercedes pivoted to online courses; however the majority of her students do not have access to computers making online learning impossible.

“I lost a lot of students during the pandemic,” said Centeno, who continues offering online courses to those who have access to a computer. “The grant is helping me stay afloat and I’m starting to see more students come back. I’m grateful to Amerant and LiftFund for helping get through this crisis.”

In Houston where small businesses play a vital role in the economy, the pandemic left many in crisis and LiftFund aims to provide the financial relief needed, while providing additional resources for the City’s businesses to flourish. For more information on LiftFund’s programs and services, please visit www.liftfund.com or contact Michi B. Clay at 888.215.2373.

For additional information about Amerant, please visit www.amerantbank.com and follow the Company on Instagram at @AmerantBank, and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmerantBank/.

About Amerant

Amerant Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: AMTB and AMTBB) is a bank holding company headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida since 1979. The Company operates through its subsidiaries, Amerant Bank, N.A. (the “Bank”), Amerant Investments, Inc., Elant Bank and Trust Ltd., and Amerant Mortgage, LLC. The Company provides individuals and businesses in the U.S., as well as select international clients, with deposit, credit, and wealth management services. The Bank, which has operated for over 40 years, is the second largest community bank headquartered in Florida. The Bank operates 25 banking centers – 18 in South Florida and 7 in the Houston, Texas area. For more information, visit AmerantBank.comInvestor.AmerantBank.com, and FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn at @AmerantBank.

About LiftFund

LiftFund is a nonprofit micro- and small community lender that transforms lives by opening doors and leveling the financial playing field in entrepreneurship. As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) established in 1994, in San Antonio, Texas, LiftFund provides responsible capital and business education to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Since inception, LiftFund has made over 24,500 loans totaling more than $402 million across its 14 state footprint, which includes: Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Media Contacts:

Israel Kreps 
Veronica Villegas Baldwin 

Lisa Marie Barocas