LISC NYC, in partnership with Upstart Co-Lab, has announced the launch of an impact investment fund to finance affordable, inclusive creative workspaces and foster quality jobs for low- and middle-income New Yorkers.
Announced in conjunction with the SOCAP18 conference on impact investing, the NYC Inclusive Creative Economy Fund will enable LISC to provide loans to nonprofit and mission-driven organizations that own, lease, and manage affordable spaces for small businesses in creative industries, including business incubation, maker/artist studios, and cultural activities.
To that end, the fund has raised an initial $2.5 million from Deutsche Bank, the Altman Foundation, Building for the Arts NY, Elaine Chen Fernandez, Gary Hattem, ImpactAssets (on behalf of the Enablement Fund and the Luna & Skye Giving Fund), Kat Taylor, Katherine Fulton and Katharine Kunst, Lisa and Dick Cashin, and the Phillips Foundation. Accredited investors can purchase general obligation notes that pay 2.75 percent per annum and mature on May 31, 2026; LISC may redeem part or all of the notes starting April 30, 2024. The start-up costs of the fund were covered by ArtPlace America, the Citi Foundation, Deutsche Bank, the New York Community Trust, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
"The fund is a unique opportunity to channel impact investment toward catalyzing and maintaining affordable spaces, which can help businesses in the creative economy thrive," said LISC NYC executive director Sam Marks. "This will preserve creative spaces in New York City's neighborhoods and provide quality jobs that can revitalize communities."
"[The] Phillips Foundation is proud to support the first LISC NYC Inclusive Creative Economy Fund," said the foundation’s executive director, Elizabeth Phillips. "While a creative capital like New York City is a natural place to launch, there is clearly a tremendous opportunity to expand these efforts to other cities in the coming years. We see this investment as a unique way to support quality jobs and revitalize communities — both within New York and hopefully beyond."