The COVID-19 pandemic became just the latest spotlight showing how strongly structural racism continues to oppress communities of color. Yet, even under the extreme circumstances we faced during 2020, our borrowers and partners across the health care, food, education, housing, cooperative, and small business sectors worked tirelessly to care for their friends, families, and neighbors.
Joining their efforts, mission-driven financial institutions have also stepped into the gap to keep the shadow safety net in place and pivoting to address the pandemic head-on.
Below are many of the steps we took to engage communities. We also invite you to read our blog series highlighting some of the inspiring stories of our partners and borrowers working on the front lines of the pandemic.
CDFIs have worked as a counterpoint to systems that exacerbate racial and socioeconomic disparities…In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, few sectors have proven to be better placed to help ensure the continued economic health of communities.
This grant from Capital Impact Partners will support key infrastructure that will help Dreaming Out Loud to drive inclusion of Black, Brown, and women-owned farmers and food-makers into the emergency food aid and institutional food systems that will drive equitable economic recovery post-COVID-19 and beyond.
Launching the $25 million CPCA COVID Response Loan Fund with The California Primary Care Association (CPCA) to provide flexible financing for community health centers responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Making additional rental and relocation assistance available to renters with our partners Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI) through the Stay Midtown program. MDI took the lead in assessing the needs of participating households to provide the proper level of assistance.
Working with our Entrepreneurs of Color Fund partners at the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) to channel relief funds through them to support their small business borrowers in Washington, D.C.
Launching our DMV Good Food Fund Innovative Response Fund, which provided $100,000 in awards to key partners in order to sustain and stabilize mission-aligned good food enterprises in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Region.
Participating in several cooperative development activities, including: contributing to the Cooperative Development Foundation Disaster Recovery Fund to support home care co-ops; deploying $40,000 in grant awards to support cooperatively owned businesses through the D.C. Co-op Impact Grant launched in partnership with Wacif and Citi Community Development; awarding ChiFresh Kitchen $50,000 as part of our annual Co-op Innovation Award to expand its commercial kitchen, owned and operated by formerly incarcerated Chicagoans, primarily Black women.
Ensuring that borrowers had the support they needed to ensure strong, healthy communities in the months – and years – to come:
We worked with all of our current borrowers to take the steps necessary to cover loan payments.
We closed more than $93 million in loans through 2020 to support 40 projects in California, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington, D.C.
Continued with the planned launch of our $12.5 million Diversity in Development – Detroit Loan Fund to ensure a pipeline of capital for emerging developers of color spearheading and supporting development post-pandemic.