Capital Impact Partners’ Response to COVID-19
By Ellis Carr, President & CEO
Friends and Partners –
Since I last reached out on behalf of the team here at Capital Impact, our country has changed dramatically as a result of the unprecedented health crisis we are all facing.
Across the country, communities are grappling with the health and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s clear the communities we serve are being disproportionately impacted. The statistics uncovered by APM Research Lab are startling. This situation further magnifies the impacts to communities long held back by structural inequities when facing health and economic crises.
In spite of these realities, many of you continue to be champions for our communities. Staff at community health centers and aging facilities are literally on the front lines of caring for our most vulnerable familesy, friends, and neighbors. Food retailers are working around the clock to ensure we have food and cleaning supplies. Schools are innovating to feed hungry kids and adapt to online learning.
As we work together to meet this crisis head-on, we stand ready to support the needs of our community partners.
We have created a variety of opportunities to deliver immediate relief, which we have listed below. At the same time, we continue working on longer-term efforts to meet your needs throughout 2020 and beyond.
- For our current borrowers, if you are experiencing difficulty, we encourage you to contact your Capital Impact portfolio management representative so we can discuss your situation.
- We also continue to originate new loans during this time. Indeed, we recently closed two high-impact loans as you can read below. Please contact our team with questions about how to move forward with your project.
- Capital Impact is in the process of channeling relief funds to our Entrepreneurs of Color Fund partners at the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) to support their small business borrowers in Washington, D.C.
- We contributed to the Cooperative Development Foundation Disaster Recovery Fund, to support home care co-ops through this time.
- With our partners Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI), we are making additional rental and relocation assistance available to renters through the Stay Midtown program. MDI is taking the lead in assessing the needs of participating households and will work to provide the proper level of assistance to support them through the next 30-60 days.
Additionally, we are constantly updating this list of federal, state, and local programs being created across the country to support small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community associations across the country. We are evaluating the new $484 billion relief package to replenish previously depleted small business loan programs and will update our online resource post with the latest information.
Advocating on Your Behalf
We continue to meet with our CDFI peers, government partners, investors, and foundations to advocate on your behalf and help coordinate additional responses.
I co-signed this open letter to our community about ways that our partners and investors can support the CDFI sector during this time. We are further collaborating with the Opportunity Finance Network and CDFI Coalition on a new advocacy effort that requests $1 billion for CDFIs in future COVID-19 legislation.
Our Director of Aging Strategy contributed to this article bringing attention to integrated service solutions that can support wellbeing for older adults and counter the negative effects of social isolation.
Bringing New Community Projects Online
As we respond to the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain focused on delivering the capital and commitment to ensure that our neighbors do not lose gains they have made in building equity and generational wealth.
We recently closed two deals that showcase what is at stake for communities in this moment. Capital Impact provided a $6 million loan for the ground-up construction of 655 W. Willis in Midtown Detroit. This project creates 36 new homes for Detroiters, nine of which are affordable to individuals and families with incomes 80 percent of the Area Median Income. It will be developed by returning borrower and Equitable Development Initiative mentor Richard Hosey.
We also provided a $2.945 million loan as part of a $12 million financing package for Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts in Washington, D.C. The school’s dedication to quality education for its students – some of whom come from communities with low incomes or have developmental disabilities – shows in it’s 100 percent college acceptance rate.
Don’t Hesitate to Reach Out
As we adapt to this fluid situation, do not hesitate to continue to engage us with any concerns, questions, or ideas that you may have. We will continue to adapt with you, our borrowers and partners, and your operational changes.
We have a list of individuals you can reach out to directly here and here.
And for those of you who can, we urge you to stay home. Doing so reduces the burden on the efforts of our community partners working to keep us healthy.
Please stay safe and healthy,
President & CEO
Capital Impact Partners