The Citi Foundation has announced grants totaling $15 million to thirty community development financial institutions (CDFIs) working to provide small businesses with the resources needed to sustain their operations and support economically vulnerable households impacted by COVID-19.
The recipients, each of whom will receive $500,000 in unrestricted funding, include the Accion Opportunity Fund, a global nonprofit committed to giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives; Capital Good Fund, which provides a suite of inclusive financial services to lower-income families; Chicanos Por La Causa, a Phoenix-based CDFI that works to provide individuals and families with quality health care, affordable housing, a quality education, opportunities for meaningful work, and political representation; D.C.-based City First Enterprises, which provides capital to Black and Latinx entrepreneurs and small business owners in the national capital region; Lakota Funds, which supports businesses owned by tribal members on the Pine Ridge Reservation with loans and technical assistance; the LiftFund, which serves small businesses and entrepreneurs in Texas who lack access to loans from traditional sources; and the PathStone Enterprise Center, which provides disaster relief and recovery services to underserved and minority-owned small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico.
The funds were provided out of the bank's initial net proceeds from its participation in the U.S. Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program.
"The disparate economic impacts of COVID-19 and systemic racial inequity reinforce the need for financial institutions of all sizes to work together to support communities of color in more effective ways," said Brandee McHale, head of community investing and development and president of the Citi Foundation. "By investing — and trusting — in these change agents on the frontlines, we're helping these organizations to pivot, adjust, and expand to address evolving needs and meet clients where they are."
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