Accelerating Opportunity, at California’s Ports and Beyond

For 25 years, Opportunity Fund has provided a variety of loan products to support the unique needs of small business owners, empowering them to grow their enterprises and support their families. In 2010, Opportunity Fund stepped up to the plate again to release a new product geared toward the truckers that serve California’s ports.

That year, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) published new emissions regulations that required many of California’s big rigs to be upgraded or replaced with new, cleaner models. Doing so would benefit both the environment and public health but would leave many truck drivers struggling to continue operating their trucks if they could not find the money for upgrades.

We first began offering loans to retrofit existing trucks or purchase newer ones that met California’s new regulations. Since then, we’ve gradually expanded our lending to those wanting to become an owner-operator of their own rig. For truckers looking to transition from employee to owner-operator, an Opportunity Fund loan marks a chance to increase earning potential and gain more control over their schedule.

Accelerating Opportunity is our first-ever research piece dedicated to the impact of our truck lending. In compiling our research and data, we found that our lending efforts in the transportation sector result in a compelling triple-bottom-line impact.

Specifically, our analysis found that:

  • Truckers save over 20% in repayment costs with Opportunity Fund compared to other lenders; they also report having a greater sense of work-life balance after receiving a loan.
  • Opportunity Fund’s $220 million historical investment in trucking has spurred an additional $470 million in new, annual downstream economic activity – a leverage of $2.14 for every $1 loaned.
  • Each Opportunity Fund truck loan eliminates the emissions equivalent of 140 vehicles – a cumulative impact equal to permanently removing 620,000 cars from the roads.

To learn more about our lending efforts, our impact, and what we’re doing in light of the new challenges facing the trucking industry, download Accelerating Opportunity: The Impact of Opportunity Fund’s Trucking Program.