CDFIs are on the front lines of the fight for social, economic, and political justice, and they are financial first responders during crisis. In 2020, more than ever before, CDFIs have rallied behind communities underserved by mainstream finance and hit hardest by COVID-19 and civil uprisings. Last March, as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Google joined them in the fight, partnering with OFN on the Grow with Google Small Business Fund.
The $170 million Fund delivers financing—through OFN—to CDFIs that are supporting the short-term recovery and long-term financing needs of America’s small businesses hardest hit by COVID-19.
Google.org has also made a $10 million grant to OFN to enable OFN’s member CDFIs to improve access to capital for the most marginalized communities. The unrestricted grants can support operations, loan capital, loan loss reserves, capacity building, or any other purpose.
To date, 14 CDFIs have received loans and seven have received grants.
The most recent loan recipients are:
Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) ($4 million loan)
As Georgia’s largest small business focused community development loan fund, ACE catalyzes entrepreneurial growth through financing and education. The nonprofit CDFI focus on women, people of color, and low to moderate-income business owners. Since 2000, ACE has loaned more than $80 million to entrepreneurs, impacting more than 10,000 jobs in Georgia through a combination of capital, coaching and connections.
Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF) Florida ($5 million loan)
BBIF specializes in providing loans, education, and business development training to Black and minority businesses. In its 30-year history, the nonprofit CDFI has made more than 435 loans to small businesses across Florida, creating or retaining more than 13,000 jobs statewide.
New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) ($5 million loan)
NJCC provides innovative financing and technical assistance to foster the creation of quality homes, educational facilities, and employment opportunities in underserved communities of New Jersey. The nonprofit CDFI takes a comprehensive and holistic approach to transforming underserved communities and supports the preservation and development of affordable housing and sustainable community development ventures that increase jobs, improve education, and strengthen neighborhoods to ensure that communities can thrive. In FY 2019, 42.0 percent of NJCC’s small business loans went to women-owned businesses and 26 percent to minority-owned businesses.
Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) ($5 million loan)
RCAC, a California-based CDFI, provides training, technical and financial resources, and advocacy to rural communities in 13 western states and western Pacific islands. Its services are available to communities with populations of fewer than 50,000, Tribal organizations, farmworkers, colonias, and other nonprofit groups and specific populations. As of June 30, 2020, RCAC closed 1,232 loans which totaled $690,044,404 and leveraged more than $2.369 billion for projects in rural communities.
Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF) ($500,000 loan)
Wacif increases equity and economic opportunity in underserved communities by investing knowledge, social, and financial capital in low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs. The CDFI serves minority- and women-owned businesses in financial underserved communities in the National Capital region, with a focus on communities east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC and in Prince George’s County, Maryland. In the last seven years, Wacif has invested more than $10 million in underserved communities throughout the region. In 2019, 96% of Wacif’s lending went to entrepreneurs of color and 62% of its business advisory services clients were female.
More about the Grow with Google Small Business Fund here.