A man walks around his community grocery store.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, local independent grocers double down to feed their communities

By Mary Donnell, Program Manager, Michigan Good Food Fund

The grocery business is more competitive than ever. Even in normal times, much of the market share is taken up by the big-box players. But in the face of an unprecedented pandemic, local, independent grocers are focusing more deliberately on serving their communities, going out of their way to provide the goods that customers that they often know by name need. These grocers continue to fill an important niche in the landscape, often serving communities that do not see much investment from national chains with top-notch customer service and a focus on community development and local food. 

Podcast: Everything Co-op Interview about Capital Impact’s 2020 Co-op Innovation Award

By Alison Powers, Cooperative & Community Initiatives Manager

In early 2020, Capital Impact Partners, in partnership with the National Cooperative Bank, awarded a total of $100,000 to three awardees, – ChiFresh Kitchen, The Guild, and the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative – through its Co-op Innovative Award. Capital Impact’s Co-op Innovative Award aims to increase co-op development in communities with low incomes and/or communities of color. This year, the Co-op Innovation Award focused on organizations educating new audiences on the impact and potential of the cooperative model to disrupt income inequality, steward community ownership, and create strong vibrant places of opportunity.

Black female entrepreneurs working at desks

As Crises Deepen Inequity, CDFIs Act as a Counterforce in Order to Build Community Assets

By Diane Borradaile, Chief Lending Officer

For generations, systemic racism has kept many people of color from achieving even a basic standard of living, which includes social services that help communities thrive.

As we wrote in the first of our series looking at the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color, the disproportionate impacts on communities of color have made these deep inequalities undeniable nationwide.

Audio Blog: Expanding Opportunity for Real Estate Developers of Color in the Time of COVID-19

Editor’s note: This conversation took place virtually to protect all participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. There may be sound issues, as this was a live webinar.

As COVID-19 continues to disproportionately impact communities of color, it is important that supporting developers of color does not stop. As not only business owners, but community builders, developers of color come from, live within, and understand the investments that often disinvested communities want for themselves and future generations. However, because of systemic disinvestment, developers of color have far fewer opportunities to engage in their chosen profession or create the lived environments that would support communities of color.

Men wearing face mask picking shopping cart in supermarket

Racial Inequity – as cause and effect – in the time of COVID-19

By Michelle Betton, Writer

“Structural racism has always been a pre-existing condition for communities of color.” -Race Forward

People in disinvested communities, often communities of color, understand this statement too well. It has rung true for generations. Structural racism affects more than just health; systemic discrimination has negatively impacted every aspect of life for communities of color, from accessing quality health care and education to qualifying for housing to procuring healthy food within their neighborhood. 

Woman heads food to another

COVID-19 Response: An Open Letter from CDFI Leaders to Our Supporters

“Those closest to the problem are closest to the solutions.” Bryan Stevenson

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) were first certified by the U.S. Treasury 25 years ago to provide financing in communities left behind by the mainstream financial system. CDFIs have long been “first responders” to many small and growing businesses in communities throughout America and are very much on the front lines of the economic response to coronavirus (COVID-19). There are more than 1,000 CDFIs at work in all 50 states managing $185 billion in loans and investments to historically underserved small businesses, nonprofits, affordable housing projects, unbanked consumers building credit, and farms and grocery stores which provide healthy food.

COVID-19 Relief Programs and Resources for Nonprofits

American small businesses and nonprofits are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Paycheck Protection Program is open again to small businesses across the country, including nonprofits. This time, lenders proximate to communities have the opportunity to lend to businesses and organizations that need the funding before it opens up to others.  

In addition, a number of programs are being offered by state governments and local municipalities to assist businesses and nonprofits with whatever needs they have right now. This page will be updated continually through this economic crisis to provide you with links to programs and resources you can investigate as a way to support your operations.


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